Indonesian Boy Works as a Street Performer to Buy Rice for His Family

Tom and Jerry

A 9-year-old boy in Indonesia is helping his struggling family make money by entertaining people while dressed up as Thomas Cat from the animated series “Tom and Jerry.”

Rehan, of South Kalimantan in the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, walks every day from their home to the road around Jalan Gatot Subroto to entertain workers and residents with his costume from the cartoon show “Tom and Jerry,” according to Mothership.

 

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EDISI KEHIDUPAN…. Setiap hari, Rehan harus bangun pagi-pagi betul agar atraksinya bisa disaksikan oleh para pekerja kantoran dan warga disekitar jalan Gatot Subroto… Bagi sebagian orang, atraksi badut jalanan yang disuguhkan Rehan dinilai ampuh untuk mengusir rasa suntuk di tengah padatnya jalan Gatot subroto. Namun, ada beberapa hal penting yang luput dari pikiran mereka. Pertunjukkan yang mereka anggap menarik itu sebetulnya dilakukan oleh anak di bawah umur, bahkan termasuk dalam kategori eksploitasi anak. Menurut pengakuan Rehan, keputusannya menjadi Badut jalanan didasari oleh motif ekonomi agar ia bisa memenuhi kebutuhan sehari-hari. Ibunya yang bekerja serabutan hanya mampu mengumpulkan uang untuk membayar biaya sewa kontrakan. Jika ada rejeki berlebih, uang tersebut sengaja disisihkan untuk biaya sekolahnya. “Uangnya lumayan. Bisa buat beli Nasi bungkus untuk dibawa pulang ke rumah,” tutur Rehan Agar atraksinya menarik perhatian banyak orang, Rehan memperlihatkan jogetan kecilnya. Sementara untuk urusan kostum dan kepala boneka, Rehan mengaku selalu mengganti kostumnya setiap hari. Sang penyedia kostum juga menyediakan beberapa pilihan kepala boneka yang didesain menyerupai tokoh-tokoh kartun, mulai dari Dora the Explorer, Upin dan Ipin, hingga Spongebob Squarepants. Kepala dan bajunya saya sewa. Saya tidak tahu biayanya, karena ibu yang membayar,” ungkap Rehan sembari menyeka keringat yang menetes di kelopak matanya. Setiap hari Rehan memang sengaja berangkat pagi-pagi buta, bahkan sebelum mentari pagi bersinar. Selain mengincar mobil-mobil yang terjebak macet, ia ingin menyisihkan waktu di sore hari untuk bermain bola di rumah. Lepas Sholat Isya saya biasanya langsung pulang ke rumah bersama ibu setelah ibu selesai beberes kebersihan halaman Alfamart jl. Gatot subroto kata Rehan Namun saat ditanya, apakah ia dan ibunya nyaman dengan profesi mereka saat ini, Rehan mengaku senang dapat membantu memberikan uang tambahan kepada ibunya. Kendati demikian, Rehan tidak memungkiri bahwa terkadang ia merasa lelah karena harus berjalan hingga sejauh 10 km dari rumahnya.

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Instagram user Rahmadi, who took photos of the boy, spoke to Rehan about his circumstances. He said his mother takes on odd jobs and only earns enough money to pay for their rent. Her earnings are not enough for his school fees and she can only pay them if she earned a bit of extra.

As for Rehan, the money he earns from entertaining people is only enough to buy a packet of rice for his family.

Rehan rents the costumes he wears and swaps the characters daily, including “Dora the Explorer,” “Upin and Ipin,” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”

Rehan said it is tiring to walk 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from his home to the road he usually stands. He also leaves their house in the early morning, sometimes before dawn, to avoid traffic and have time to go back home to play football in the afternoon.

Feature Image via @rhmadii__

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