Friday, August 05, 2005


The International Herald Tribune, 27 July 2005, had an article entitled Death in Jakarta.

The story was about a poor garbage collector called Supriono.

Supriono owns a cart which he uses to collect plastic bottles and cardboard for recycling. He does not own much else.

Supriono's three-year old daughter, Nur, became ill with diarrhea.

Supriono's daily wage is a little over a dollar, while a visit to the local clinic cost him 50 cents.

Michael Vatikiotis, of the IHT, wrote:

'Poor and uneducated, Supriono did not understand what he needed to do for his dehydrated girl, nor could he afford another visit to the clinic.

'Nur died as he carried her fever-wracked body in the back of his filthy plywood cart early in the morning on June 5th.'

Supriono had no money to pay for an ambulance to take Nur to a cemetery.

Supriono carried Nur to a train station. Someone called the police. The police questioned Supriono for hours.

In the end, a group of neighbors pooled the money to pay for the ambulance that eventually took her for burial at a city cemetery. It cost about 50 dollars.

A tabloid newspaper reported Supriono's story. Supriono was interviewed on the radio.

The following week dozens of demonstrators carrying dummy corpses wrapped in white sheets appeared outside the presidential palace.

Indonesia's rate of infant and maternity mortality is the highest in Southeast Asia.

Patients at city hospitals in Jakarta are usually asked to make cash down payments before being treated.




Post a Comment

<< Home