Bahkan si Miskin pun Dapat Beristri Tiga

Senang! Kembali terdapat tulisan menarik karya mahasiswa. Adapun tulisan ini bercerita mengenai fenomena yang ditemui mahasiswa ketika melaksanakan tugas mata kuliah Economics of Poverty, yaitu tugas mewawancarai anggota masyarakat yang dipersepsikan miskin. Poin menarik dari tulisan ini adalah bahwa penulis menekankan perhatiannya lebih kepada generasi muda miskin, yaitu anak-anak yang dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di keluarga miskin, yang otomatis  dikelilingi oleh lingkungan intervensi yang tidak hanya miskin secara ekonomi, namun juga besar kemungkinan, miskin dalam hal pola pikir. Mengapa pola pikir?

Masyarakat miskin pada umumnya:

  • tidak memberi nilai yang besar (tidak memandang penting) keperluan masa depan, mereka cenderung fokus untuk bertahan hidup hari ini, bukan untuk mengisi kehidupan, atau, focus to survive life instead of to live life;
  • masyarakat miskin juga umumnya tidak memberi nilai yang tinggi bagi pendidikan dan gizi anak, yang kemudian berujung pada terbatasnya kemampuan anak tersebut untuk meraih dan menikmati taraf kehidupan yang lebih baik dari orang tuanya.

Adapun sistem nilai yang berlaku umum pada masyarakat miskin tersebut, lebih disebabkan pada ketidaktahuan mereka atas adanya cara untuk memperbaiki keadaan, jika bukan untuk keadaan mereka sendiri setidaknya untuk keadaan anak-anak mereka. Cara paling sederhana adalah, dengan membatasi jumlah anak yang dimiliki. Pendeknya, bukan hanya masyarakat miskin secara umum saja yang perlu dipikirkan cara penanganannya, namun secara khusus, penanganan untuk generasi muda miskin juga perlu dipikirkan agar kualitas hidupnya dapat lebih baik daripada orang tuanya. Fenomena inilah yang diangkat oleh mahasiswa melalui tulisan berikut. Semoga dapat menjadi bahan renungan kita bersama dalam mencari jalan untuk memuseumkan kemiskinan, khususnya kemiskinan absolut karena kemiskinan relatif tidak akan pernah ada habisnya. Akan selalu ada langit di atas langit, betul?

Even the so called poor man could have three wifes

Written by: Laras Sekarani

On one hot sunny day in Jakarta, I went to a traditional market near my house. As soon as I get there, I started to look around to find my target. Actually, I interviewed more than one people for this assignment, there are becak rider, bakso seller, a nice lady who sells gudeg and a few more. But I choose this one story to write because I think this is the most interesting interview that I got so far. I met him at a coffee shop, not a fancy one, in this situation it means warung kopi in Indonesian language. I sat there and ordered a coffee and that man sat next to me.

He is a taxi driver, but not a well-known brand of taxi. He has his own house, it is inherited from his mother. He earns about Rp.20.000 to Rp.30.000 per day. I think this amount is not enough but I see there are many other people live with less amount of money. For some people that I interviewed, this amount is enough to live a very simple life but for him this income is not enough because he has three wives and five children. I was very shocked.

He told me that all of his wives know each other and agree of being in a polygamy relationship. All of his wives also have jobs, but not a well paid ones so he has to help provide for them too. He lives with his first wife while his other wives live at their own house. It seems that his income is not even enough to provide for three families. At that question, he told me that he needs to borrow money from several people.

I feel bad for his children because they can’t go to proper school, they can’t eat well, they can’t enjoy good healthcare merely because of their parents’ mistake. So when I got home, I started to think about this story again and also some other story from my other interview and I see poverty from this point of view. We can’t choose what we’re going to be when we’re born, so do their children. We can’t choose are we going to be born poor or rich. It’s not a choice. I don’t know why the taxi driver became poor, but I see why his children became poor. It’s simply because they’re born in a poor family. I think that’s also the main reason in most poverty case.

Little children are still powerless. I always believe that by having children, we have an obligation to take care of them and educate them, financially and in any other aspects until they’re ready to stand on their own. Environment shapes people. The way we educate them is also important for their development and what they’re going to be when they’re grow up. I always believe that we shouldn’t have any children if can’t afford and not ready to take care of them and we shouldn’t have more children than we can afford. I think quality is more important than quantity.

Building infrastructure and education, for example, are some ways to reduce poverty. I think these kind of poverty reduction program need to be perform in our country. I don’t know how to put it in a good sentence but I think it’s also important that we should also reduce the number of children whose born in poor families immediately because many poor family have too many children (more than one or two) and it’s even harder to reduce more poverty, especially those children, not all but most of all usually become not much different from their parents and also produce more babies and keeps repeating the process. Poverty reduction program  and the reduction of the born of too many children from unwealthy family needs to be perform side by side. I saw there are many social advertising education, direct education and many more about this socialization when I was younger, but not so many anymore nowadays.

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