Editorial – Any Good Samaritans in Bali?
On page three of this edition, we chronicle the story of a young Balinese woman who was forced to marry at 10, bore children and then, destitute, traveled with her family, and Rp50,000 (US$5.42) in her pocket, from her remote eastern village to eek out a pitiful living begging on the blistering streets of Kuta.
She is not alone.
As detailed in the story by Times reporter Rian Dewanto, an entire community of Balinese beggars lives in one building in Denpasar alone.
Anyone who traverses the main thoroughfares of southern Bali is all too aware of the rising numbers of beggars pleading for coins at fume-engulfed traffic lights.
For a caring island with its societal roots steeped in helping the less fortunate, this is a heartbreaking human tragedy.
Our story reveals how this starving mother, ashamed at what her life has been reduced to and physically assaulted by security officials, she claims, instructs her young children, one only 2 years old and carried on the back of her 7-year-old brother, to approach vehicles for cash, their innocent lives cut short, an education not for them, their health dangerously imperiled amid the spiraling toxicity of the streets that gives them chronic headaches daily.
No one is doing anything to help these people that are in most urgent, desperate need, clinging to life, literally begging to live, all hopes dashed.
There are many groups here looking after the welfare of animals â€“ dogs, orangutans, marine life â€“ and that is to be highly commended. But can we please also start taking care of our own species, our fellow man?
We are letting ourselves badly down as a community if we continue to let this happen.
With this editorial, The Bali Times launches an initiative to help the street people of Bali, to get them into gainful employment and put their children in school so their lives can begin anew and they can regain their innocence lost.
Will you help?