The Princess Mother recognized that narcotic crop cultivation is a symptom of poverty and a lack of opportunity, which can drive people to break the law-she believed that no one wants to do bad things inherently. Once people's health is taken care of, Her Royal Highness believes that development should help people to help themselves, by creating viable and sustainable livelihood options. Afterward, education will lay a foundation for long-term development.
"For development to work, basic needs must be tackled first. Without adequate income, people have no choice but to deforest land through illegal logging, and engage in other illegal activities such as opium cultivation and prostitution." This was part of the address made by the late Princess Mother in 1988 when the handicraft training centre was launched alongside the reforestation project, as an alternative enterprise for people in the locality.
The Princess Mother's philosophy was to help people help themselves. She said "to improve livelihoods, you must provide vocational training that is up to par and ensure that there are no financial losses incurred."
She also said "don't let people buy our products out of pity." As a result, the Doi Tung Development Project arranged for local people to work in handicraft training centres that allowed for cost savings from economies of scale and quality control. Building the skills and talents of the local people, the Project helped them maximize their potential by hiring Thai and foreign experts to help with designs that appeal to premium markets, and provide them with skill training in dyeing and weaving techniques that complemented local traditional skills.
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