Friday, December 22, 2006

The Beggars Call 2.0

After dropping my son off at his school on a bright Saturday morning, I could finally take picture of a beggar that I mentioned in “The Beggar’s Call” post earlier. I haven’t passed the street for quite sometimes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s disappeared, but he was still there. He just looked much older and fragile.

For those who want to pay a visit and give small contribution, his “office” is located at the u-turn towards Tebet, below Kampung Melayu fly-over. After receiving the money, he will shout loudly wishing you have a long and prosperous life. Amen.

There are a couple of beggars with whom I frequently encounter and eventually become “regular customers”. Here are some of them:

A woman sitting at the green lane at Jl. I Gusti Ngurah Rai about 200 meters before Klender Mall. She used to be sitting there with her little boy.

A woman who walks very fast, in a unique way, with a grinning face. Her area of operation is around traffic light after Cipinang prison, just before Jatinegara fly-over.

A woman, a bit lame, greeting you at the intersection traffic light between Ki Mangunsarkoro and Cik Ditiro streets, towards Sunda Kelapa Grand Mosque.

There’s another woman sitting around the traffic light before Cipinang prison, but I never saw her approaching the motorists.

A few days ago I stopped near the place where she’s sitting. The red traffic light was on. She looked straight at me but didn’t move her hand. I opened my car window to give her small money. She stood up, and walked with great difficulty towards my car. I took a deep heavy breath, knowing why she’s just sitting passively there.
***
There are always debates whether giving money to beggars on the street is the right way or not in helping the needy. To me, it’s not about the right or wrong way, not about black or white situation. It’s more about the willingness to share and the acknowledgement that there’s no perfect single way in doing so.

Unfortunately many of those who were reluctant to give small money to the beggars on the street might haven't done anything to help them yet, most likely because they haven't found the more comfortable way in making the contribution.

It’s not that important whether you give your contribution in the form of money, food, cloth, education assistance, etc., whether you give the donation on the street, orphanage house or through NGOs, as long as you do some real thing to help them, and hopefully you can improve the way the contribution is given along the way.

On the government part, maybe the President needs to make an annual contest. Governor who can reduce number of people who live under poverty line by 10% shall be rewarded generously by the central government; and those who can’t achieve the numbers shall be reprimanded by local parliament that elected the governor.

The Governor in turn needs to have another annual contest for the regents, and so forth. High cost economy shall further be reduced. Investments shall also be further simplified, especially in sectors that create more job opportunities.

Whilst we can’t make poverty to become a history, we can surely contribute something to reduce the scale, either by taking it from our pocket, or from other resources that we can control or create.

Let’s not criticize those who have done something to help the needy because of the way their contribution are delivered. Let's just share what we have done, that may inspire others to contribute in a better way.

14 comments:

  1. Kapan marin baca di koran online (lupa gatra atau kompas atau tempointeraktif),Jakarta berusaha menghilangkan pengemis. Aku pikir dengan cara memberikan penyuluhan, pelatihan atau pekerjaan. Wah ternyata caranya aneh dan heboh; menangkap orang yang memberi sesuatu kepada pengemis. Ati2 pak bambang, ntar ditangkep polisi hehehe,,,

    Memang benar bahwa beberapa pengemis melakukan kegiataannya mengemis sebagai profesi karena mereka malas bekerja. bahkan para pengemis tertentu dari sebuah kampung di Madura adalah para pengemis yang kaya raya. Di kampungnya mereka memiliki rumah bagus dan barang2 mewah. Ada juga anak2 kecil pengemis yang diorganisir oleh preman.

    Tapi tidak semua pengemis seperti itu. Aku punya temen yang sangat dekat. Dia sekarnag sudah menjadi orang sukses dan kaya. Suatu saat di awal perkenalan, kami makan di sebuah warung. Ada dua cewek datang membawa buku list dan surat kuasa mengumpulkan sumbangan. Kawan saya ini -tanpa membaca isi surat tersebut - langsung memberi uang 50.000 rupiah pada mereka.

    Ketika berhenti di lampu merah dan ada pengemis, kawan saya ini langsung ngasih uang. Aku perhatikan, kalau ngasih uang ke pengimis gak pernah dikit. Suatu ketika dia bercerita tentang masa kecilnya. Ketika umur 9 tahun keluarganya berantakan -orang tua cerai, ayahnya pergi dan gak tanggung jawab- dan dia harus mulai membantu ibunya mencari uang untuk membayar kontrakan dan ngasih makan adik2nya.

    Dia pernah mengemis, meminta2 beras dari rumah ke rumah dan pernah juga mencuri di supermarket. Waktu dia cerita itu, aku nangis sungguhan, dan dia hanya senyum sambil matanya menerawang jauh.

    kalau melihat penampilannya dan keadaanya sekarang, sungguh sulit mempercayai hal itu.


    jadi, kemiskinan itulah musuh kita. Bukan orang miskin.
    kalau gak mau ada orang miskin, seharusnya bukan orang miskin atau pengemisnya ditendang dibuang. Kemiskinannya yang harus diberantas.

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  2. terlepas dari salah atau tidak kita memberi......

    intinya cuma ada di dalam hati. ikhlas atau tidak....
    karena secara pribadi, urusan ikhlas itu garisnya vertikal....

    untuk garis horizontal....tolong bapak2 pejabat di atas sana pikiriiinn ddeh....

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  3. bung alex:
    weh aku siap2 nginep di hotel prodeo nih, gpp deh, biar rame dan kali2 bisa muncul pendekatan baru utk bersama2 ngatasi kemiskinan.

    kmarin seorang teman yg gak pernah ngasih pengemis di jalanan, mulai mo ngasih, eh kepentok sama pengemis komersial. "koq cuma serebu sih tante, minta dua rebu dong".

    aku setuju, bahwa adanya pengemis komersial, pengemis kaya, sindikat pengemis dsb, janganlah menyurutkan niat utk membantu, karena lebih banyak dari mereka yg betul2 perlu bantuan.

    aku juga setuju, bahwa kemiskinanlah yg hrs ditangani, bukan pengemis atau donatur-nya.

    aku yakin, dg kerasnya hidup yg mreka jalani, banyak dari mereka yg akan jadi orang, seperti teman bung Alex itu. many txs utk real story-nya yg menyentuh...

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  4. nila:
    betul jeng, dan nggak perlu bangga karena udah ngasih sesuatu, atau ngarepin terima kasih, wong menurut satu ajaran "sebagian dari harta yg kita miliki adalah hak orang miskin".

    nah, kitalah yg musti terima kasih karena telah mengembalikan hak mereka.

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  5. Do'a orang teraniaya Insya Allah dikabulkan.....dan semoga kita juga ikhlas dalam memberikan sedikit rezeki kita *sok serius* hehehe

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  6. i agree with you, giving beggars something is better than complaining about them and saying how they have big hourses in Bogor etc etc.

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  7. I like the "annual contest" idea. Thats brilliant. The government should also have a contest.. Who can reduce jakarta's traffic by 20% will get a reward. Or, who can educate Jakarta's drivers and turn them into better drivers will have a share/stocks in some big-dog companies. But I guess the goovernment doesnt have that much money to spare

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  8. ya klo mau ngasih ke orang minta2 yg iklas, jadi memberi dari dalam hati, sepenuh hati.., ih susah amat seh neranginnya.
    Kadang saya sertai doa, klo mereka itu pengemis yg di koordinir..semoga dengan uang pemberian saya itu bisa menyadarkan mereka untuk tidak "mengemis komersial" that's all ...

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  9. I regularly see this man, too, Aroeng, and he's often singing. A stoic maybe, but sitting at exhaust pipe level .... ?
    Aduh.

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  10. Two interesting posts (with the v1). And I won't hesitate anymore on giving to beggars (because they might just need it anyway). A well thought off post!

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  11. Saat mau memberi, nilai dengan hati-hati. Pengemis profesi atau pengemis betulan. Saat memberi, tutup mata tutup teling, dan jangan menoleh kebelakang. .. ikhlas ...

    Mudah-mudahan tidak akan ada ganjalan dihati ...

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  12. when you give them the money, trying looking into their eyes. I did that, it did wonders in my life.

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  13. Jeng Tia:
    Semoga ya jeng terkabul smuanya, dan smakin banyak berbagi smoga smakin banyak juga rezekinya, jadi smakin banyak lagi yg dibagi….

    Johnorford:
    Yep, people may have different opinion, but action matters.

    Bung Yodee:
    Hope that the president and the home minister will consider the "annual contest" idea.
    The central government may want to have a think tank, a group of micro-economic experts that provides assistance and consultancy to governors to develop customized business plan to lure investors based on market potential in each of the province, to drive local economic engine in the lower level economic bracket.

    Amethys:
    Utk ikhlas kadang susah ya, masih saja ada pikiran macem2. Mana yg lebih baik sih: memberi namun kurang ihklas dengan tidak memberi karena niat mulia.
    Yah jelas ya memberi, dg niat mulia, dan ikhlas dong…. 

    Jakartass:
    Couldn’t remember whether I’ve ever heard he’s singing. I’d love to hear it though, as it may contain lots of wisdom.
    As you see that begging is a tough “profession”. Sooner or later the hostile “office” environment will affect their mental and physical health.
    I believe that majority, if not all, of them would be very happy to quit begging, when there’s another way to earn money.

    Bung Oskar Syahbana:
    GBU

    MaIDeN:
    Kalau ketemu pengemis profesi yg bisa berakting seperti pengemis betulan mungkin bisa diajak main sinteron ya…. Akur, ikhlas membuat pikiran dan hati damai.

    Ada kalanya uang sudah ditangan siap memberi, tiba2 pengemisnya belok dan tidak mendekat. Rezeki sering tdk bisa diraih kalau nggak jodoh.

    Saya pikir dalam bisnis, pekerjaan atau cinta mungkin sama. Sering kita mengetuk pintu yg terlihat indah dan prospektif namun ternyata ditolak, dan mengabaikan pintu lain yg terlihat tidak terlalu mengesankan, padahal di pintu itulah rezeki, pekerjaan atau jodoh sudah menunggu …

    Bung Alexandrite:
    Thanks for sharing; we’ll make their eyes looked brighter, knowing that there are people who still care.

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  14. Baru baca tulisannya, telat banget ya!
    Menurut saya mungkin sebaiknya para dermawan sudah harus mulai berpikir agak panjang. Daripada ingin gampang saja beramal dengan memberikan uang sedikit ke setiap pengemis, dia bisa memanfaatkan uangnya untuk hal yang lebih besar, jadi modal usaha misalnya untuk menyerap mereka sebagai tenaga kerja.

    Ternyata bukan hanya pengemis yang malas, para dermawan juga malas ya. Malas berpikir lebih. :D

    Silakan mas, dikoordinir uang Rp 500, atau 1000 atau 20rb-annya itu.

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