December 30

Endless Services of KBA Bhakti Jaya’s Warriors

The beginning

East Depok—just a few miles away from the Capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, yet a growing urban area and modern upbringing has a place with green and lively neighbourhood. It is Komplek Bhakti Jaya’s chief of RW 16, Pak Sumarno, and other almost eighty percent elders that have green thumbs yet good coordination in bringing it as place deserving its pinnacle reputation as Astra’s caring kampong, Kampung Berseri Astra (KBA).

However, long before green living style or sustainable development happened in that area, Komplek Bhakti Jaya or Perumnas Depok 2 we might say, once in 1970’s, was an empty dry residence with no trees nor adequate water supply—there was young Sumarno, a rebel guy from Central Java who tried to establish his baronial position in that newly built place. Through that decade, Sumarno had been involved in building ‘reign’ there. People of Jalan Saminten, place that he used to live, often had local conflicts with Jalan Jelutung’s fellow and Sumarno with the others, now they are seniors, were having scrap and struggle to change.

 

Pak Sumarno and the Team

Pak Sumarno, now in his early sixty, is a pensionary researcher from Indonesia Ministry of Health so he is able to portray health situation in various places he has visited to his kampong. “I observed the Zika virus cases in Jambi, dengue fever, and chikungunya,” he reflected. Once, 14 of his people got the fever. “I was furious,” he gushed, “I tried to have investigation toward my people,” he added. It is eventually exposed that ladies who got the task of checking mosquito larvae (PKK’s Jumantik Team) had performed rather ineffective jobs. Nowadays, things have changed into better direction. We will not find any harsh conditions and adverse issue there. He wished to make a change and so the people around him would too. “We had changed the system toward Jumantik group in our RW, we do the cross-check so the ladies are going to inspect other residents’ blocks (RT),” he remembered. “Here is our home, it is not prohibited for having dreams, but we need bright and clever ways to make better condition,” Pak Sumarno, chief of the place, told assertively.

 

Speaking of PKK team in this Astra’s kampong, it is undeniable for not having mentioned Ibu Dwi Hastuti or widely known as Bu Har. In her 67 years old she appears in remarkably vibrant shape and vibe. Thin, lean, and energetic (she knows almost all RW 16 members!), she credits the PKK as well as children’s healthy monitoring (POSYANDU) and seniors’ healthy monitoring (POSBINDU) as her second homes. “Let me introduce you to these guys,” she chuckled. Later on, she acknowledged Pak Boedi Widodo (68) and Pak Sidik Sofyan (69 years old). They are two elders from the seniors at the neighbourhood. Pak Widodo used to be a male nurse at the Army’s Hospital (RSPAD) and got very fit physical appearance and full of spirit. He loves jogging around and goes to local mosque. As for Pak Sidik, after being a pensioner he has no significant activities besides taking care of his grandchildren. Then, Bu Har encourages him for having things to do. “Initially, I collected used shuttlecocks and other junks. I turned them into ondel-ondel (Betawi’s puppet). Hopefully, people will love my work,” Pak Sidik hoped. A role-model around the ladies, Bu Har inspires that seniors need to have hobby, or activities in their community. “Being around the people energizes me, I have good confidence!” Bu Har exclaimed. This spirit she tries to affect toward another pensioner, as she used to be a school principal, in KBA Bhakti Jaya.

 

The KBA and us

The 10.6 acres land that consists of more than 500 heads of household is still thriving and maintaining its role to be a liveable place. Residents plant aesthetics, medicinal and fruits plants along the alleys there. For instance, they grow Gynura procumbens sometimes called longevity spinach and Moringa oleifera or simply known as kelor which the resident sells for superfood powder. This brought RW 16 as best green neighbourhood in Depok back in 2010 and 2011. Thanks to PT. Astra International, Tbk, in year 2014, as the company brought the kampong to a higher scale as Kampung Berseri Astra. As people embrace the KBA name, it has also increased people’s awareness.

 

Furthermore, the CSR program introduced four fundamental pillars: education, entrepreneur, environment, and health. Times were tough, but with these pillars, together they create a sustainable witty atmosphere in the residences. For instance in education pillar, thirty three scholarships called Beasiswa Lestari Astra were awarded to needy RW 16 children. It covers their education fee until state university. As for entrepreneur pillar, Astra provides culinary and handicraft workshops. Numerous environment signage, water barrels and gate were gifted as little present in favour of environmental project. While that happened, group of grandmas and grandpas were happy practicing Chinese’s Tai-Chi moves as Astra provide them with Health pillars!

 

In last 27th of December 2018, Major of Depok, Mohammad Idris Abdul Shomad, gave an award regarding RW 16 as kampong that has excellent awareness of climate change from provincial government (Kampung pro Iklim). The man in charge asked Pak Sumarno lightly whether he was ready of taking the job as RW head forever. Whether the answer is yes or no, surely, this man and The KBA team have done something right! It is always a constant team work of PT. Astra International, Tbk’s Team, Pak Sumarno, Bu Har and all members of KBA Bhakti Jaya. Rain or shine, they hope this good gesture in building the community is going to thrive everlastingly. As Bu Har gasped on one of the education pillar’s program, “I feel very hopeful this program (scholarship) will be lestari or endless.” It can be inferred that what Astra has arranged for this community really can’t be ignored. It sparks life for better future of younger and elder generation.

 

Trends and ageing gracefully      

Globally, elder generation (aged 60 or over) is currently growing faster than the rest of age groups or younger generation. In 2017, 962 million people aged 60 or more around the globe. It is corresponded 13 percent of the world’s global population were seniors aged 60 and more. This seniors’ population is growing about three percent per year. Rapid ageing will happen again in 2030 and 2050. In that period all regions around the globe except Africa will have approximately a quarter or more of the populations at age 60 or more. We will have 1.4 billion seniors in 2030 and 2.1 billion in 2050 correspondently. Based on the UN’s prediction by year 2100 it is expected that seniors aged 80 and more will increase drastically to 909 million, closely seven times its 2017’s figure!

 

It is wise enough to see senior citizens as development agents. They have abilities to act for theirs and societies’ betterment. It will likely to happen if we change traditional stereotype of old age as time of fragility, desolation and soreness to affluence, respect and happiness. It is our concern for having our senior member of society remain active and posses full energy of life. If they live happily and in content, they can create a meaningful life for their community.

As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity,” what the senior citizens in RW 16 have done strongly confirms that they are still able to make changes. Attainments and achievements still blossom from this kampong. It is difficult today to imagine The KBA Bhakti Jaya without them, as they are important due to long accumulated know-hows, experience, and wisdom. As they will not live forever, are we ready to inherit their spirit? •

See further about KBA Bhakti Jaya’s activities on the link below:

https://www.instagram.com/kba_depok/