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Thai beauty queen pays tribute to her mum in front of bins: Mama, this is for you

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Thai beauty contest winner pays tribute to her mum, who earns a living collecting and recycling rubbish in Bangkok

It was a heart-warming picture.

A Thailand beauty queen, glittering crown, silk sash and all, kneeling before her mother with filthy rubbish bins all around.

Khanittha "Mint" Phasaeng, 17, who won the title of Miss Uncensored News Thailand 2015 late last month, was showing her gratitude to her mother.

The mother, a rag-and-bone woman, brought her daughter up alone after she separated from her husband, People's Daily Online reported.

Mint also worked as a back-up dancer for musicians and sold second-hand clothes to earn extra money.

But controversy erupted soon after her victory when it emerged that she had lied about her educational qualifications, Bangkok Post reported.

She wrote on the application form for the contest that she had passed Level 12, while her highest education was only Level 3.

The organisers discovered the lie only after a university contacted them to offer her a scholarship.

Mint apologised late last week to contest organiser Somchai Leknoi for lying about it.

She claimed she failed to check the application form, which had been filled in by her uncle, the Bangkok newspaper reported.

Mr Somchai said the organisers and the two runners-up held no grudge against her as education level was not a factor in the event.

But he said she should not have lied about it.

S$1,180 CASH

Mint, who is now the talk of Thailand, was finally confirmed as the winner on Monday.

She took home 30,000 baht (S$1,180) in cash and other prizes.

After the win, she got advertising, film and television work, which she hopes will improve the situation at home.

She said: "The family will continue to be scavengers. My mother will still go and sort garbage."

Mint was all praise for her mother and said that what she has achieved is all because of her mother.

"She and I make a living by doing honest work, so there is no reason why I should feel inferior," she was quoted as saying.

She also said she will still help her mother to collect and recycle rubbish whenever time permits.

The family reportedly grew up in poverty and Mint could not go to college after high school.

The beauty contest was open to both women and transgenders.