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Stories, rants & conversations on life in Asia’s craziest city.

Community, Philanthropy, and Condoms with Mechai Viravaidya – Part One [Season 3, Episode 36]

In Thailand, there are plenty of household names, but not many of them bring a smile and a twinkle to the eye the way that “Mechai” does. If you’re unfamiliar with Mechai Varivaidya, you’re missing out. Known as Mr. Condom, Mechai’s career began in the 1970s when he became famous for traveling around the country giving out condoms - a truly unconventional (even controversial) thing to do at the time. His tireless promotion of condoms, family planning, and community health have made him a household name in every corner of the Kingdom; indeed, if you ask for a “Mechai” in 7-11, you will be given a box of condoms - a distinction he’s thoroughly proud of.

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