The tragedy of the 2002 Bali bombings have claimed hundreds of lives. It has been causing overwhelming grief not only for the families but also everyone around the world.
However, this tragedy has inspired some people to tell and share their story. One of the people is Haji Agus Bambang Priyanto, a well respected volunteer who helped out at the 2002 Bali Bombing. Recently he has launched his biography entitled “Sincerity guides my steps”.
Haji Agus Bambang Priyanto is born in Kuta and has launched his book ten years after the first Bali Bombing. He hopes to inspire other volunteers to be sincere and honest in helping others. Bambang has also spoken on “Supporting the Victims of Terrorism” at an international symposium at the UN headquarters. “By invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, I had the chance to speak,” he said.
“Now we are in a materialistic era, everything is measured by money. For example, if there is a humanitarian mission, we will always think of a materialistic angle, with the thought: How much does it costs to do this work? In this book we want to inspire our children, because they are our future,” he said.
He hopes that there will be more volunteers who have this social behavior, like he did. So when a country faces a tragedy or disaster, this kind of figure can do the right thing to act where it is needed.
The book consists of 228 pages and tells the life of Haji Bambang. It starts from his birth until the Bali bombing where he volunteered to help out during the evacuation. The most pages of this book tells the story of Haji Bambang when he was working 11 hours to evacuate the victims of the Bali Bombing.
“At that time, I had the responsibility by Karo Bali Government Relations and Protocol, I Gede Nurjaya to guide VIP guests from Jakarta and other countries to explain the tragedy to those who visited the Memorial (Ground Zero) in Bali,” he said. He also accompanied the people who come to sympathize and pray.
When the bombing devastated the Sari Club and Paddy’s Club on the night of October 12, 2002, he was able to go quick to the location because it was busy. And also he was still awake that night.
“I was reading a newspaper at home, in the area of Kuta Permai, 900 meters away from the scene. I quickly managed to go to the location, to see the circumstances and to find out what happened, at first I thought it sounded like an explosion of an airplane crash,” he said.
Since then he is prepared with equipment to use for an evacuation, such as flashlights and First Aid. The equipment is stored neatly.
“By selling the book, I will donate 50 percent to the families of victims of the Bali bombings and the remaining 50 percent will go to PMI Bali,” he said.
PMI Bali is the Indonesian Red Cross, a group of volunteers who is prepared in case of a disaster. This team is ready to act at any time to conduct disaster. “A team consists of 12 people, and I will set up two teams,” he said.
Haji Bambang is someone who is dedicated in helping others and wants to pass his knowledge to the new generation.