ACTNews, JAKARTA – Housing is one of our basic needs that needs to be fulfilled. One will seek a way to find a permanent abode, either by building or renting houses. What happens, however, when one has no permanent place to live?
The people in Petamburan, North Jakarta, reflect the bitter reality of people without permanent housing in Jakarta. For decades, they have been living on the sides of the railroad. Even though their safety is jeopardized, they have no other choice. What’s important for them is to have a house for their shelter regardless of size and condition.
Their houses are made of thin wooden boards, erected on wooden foundations. These houses are built along the route of the commuter line between Tanah Abang and Kebayoran Lama railroad station. Closely adjacent to each other, these houses leave no room but small alleys to connect this area with the main road and the railroad.
Most of the residents came from other areas around Indonesia who moved to Jakarta for a better living. They were determined to change their lives, although, as it turned out, life in Jakarta is not as easy as they had predicted.
Last Ramadan, the Buka Bersama Jakarta Bahagia (BBJB) program, a collaboration between Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) and the provincial government of Jakarta, brought a glimpse of happiness to the residents of this poor settlement. In Jakarta, the dense population has led to social and economic inequality amongst its citizens.
The already populous Jakarta can no longer hosts more newcomers. They have to compete to get a job. Consequently, many of them have to be odd jobbers. Many of them also are unemployed, without any source of income.
That Ramadan, ACT visited Erna, one of the residents in Petamburan. For 20 years, Erna’s family has lived on the side of the railroad. Erna is just a stay-at-home wife and her husband is an odd jobber.
“My husband has no steady income. I have to ask my children to support each other,” said Erna.
Erna is just an example of another side of the coin in Jakarta, an example of economic inequality. Next Eid-ul-Adha, Global Qurban – ACT will initiate another collaboration with the provincial government of Jakarta to bring the delight of qurbani though the Qurbani Kitchen program. Delicious dishes made of qurbani meat will reach hundreds of poor neighborhoods throughout Jakarta.