| Jakarta, Indonesia
1st April 2016 at 11p.m |
The scenery looked normal when my mom, my sister, and I left the mall. People pass by carrying groceries happily. But it immediately changed, because there is a spot that looks different which attracted our attention. A little girl sitting on the sidewalk in front of the mall was counting money in her hand. We approached her and asked what she was doing there. She said, "I'm counting my money from work all day," and we asked, "What is your job?" Then she replied, "Buskers".
I was stunned to hear her answer. Her name is Fitri, a 7-year-old girl who works from morning til' night to help her family's finances. She was still outside the house until midnight, it wasn't a safe time for children to be far away from their homes. Then where are her parents? Her parents also worked. Her mother is a laundry worker from house to house, her father works as an Ojek (a motorcycle driver). In our conversation, she told me that she had been arrested by social service officers for being on the streets with other buskers, but she fled because she was uncomfortable with how she was treated while in the social service shelter before. We cannot blame the social service officers or children who work underage—who get arrested. The question is, why are children connected with social services when they should be at home studying, doing homework, preparing for school the next day, and sleeping in peace? On the other hand, social services have a good purpose by forcing children who work underage into their shelter so that they do not fall into the wrong hands of individuals who employ underage children. According to Beritagari.d, the crimes of employing minors in Indonesia has increased by 14.34% per year during 2015-2017.
Our hearts were touched to see a little girl who's rights as a child were not being fulfilled. I believe the basic reason she is forced to work and wasn't doing activities like other children, such as learning and playing, is poverty. I believe her family is in poverty due to social inequality. There are several factors that contribute to social inequality, but one of the factors that really became the center for me was government policy. Social inequality is the responsibility of the government. But in my opinion it's not only the responsibility of the government, but ALL OF US. Especially the owners of capital or wealth, in fact they are optimal for benefiting people below the economic line.
Some solutions I propose are:
1. The owners of capital, in cooperation with the government, provide what is needed by people below the economic line. For example, opening a job with an adequate salary.
2. Educational institutions produce high school graduates and college graduates who focus on these problems.
3. Society uses media in this globalization era wisely to support programs related to social issues, including social media, entertainment, broadcast medias, printed medias, etc.
My hope is that no other children will experience what has been experienced by Fitri.