Segelintir Kasa

a story from a small, remote village in Nganget, East Java

Growing up in a small town and having a village in Nganjuk as my second home still does not make me a village girl. I am never a small village girl. I’m more a big, metropolitan city girl — I like the ambience the city brings, how the city lights glow and scream for productivity. Tapi sungguh, aku selalu merasa meninggalkan sesuatu di desa-desa, tempat-tempat kecil yang pernah aku tinggali sementara.

Beberapa minggu yang lalu, I had the chance to conduct a community health project di Nganget, Tuban. Di Nganget sendiri terdapat Desa Rehabilitasi Kusta untuk pasien eks kusta. Mereka sudah sembuh but the disability from the disease still remains. That’s why my friend initiated the project.

It’s a simple project, yet it enabled us to give some smiles to the them. Aku nggak pernah tuh, mendapati seseorang yang aku nggak kenal dan dia pun nggak kenal aku tapi selalu menyambutku, menerimaku layaknya aku anaknya sendiri, begitu ramah, it almost feels like they put hopes in me, us. Mereka menaruh harapan untuk kita, mereka menaruh harapan agar kita bisa membantu mereka menjadi lebih baik lagi.

Just the sight of us dari kejauhan itu bisa membuat mereka tersenyum lebar, menyapa, memanggil-manggil kita dengan semangat. Just the presence of us can bring them happiness. It is simple yet endearing to be able to be welcome like that.

I don’t know what kind of injustice influences them but after listening to their stories, the kind of injustice happens to them are the kind that keeps happening to remote, neglected villages with neglected diseases. Stigma, discrimination, lack of attention, not prioritized.

Ketika aku mendatangi mereka membawa obat-obatan, seperti kasa, obat merah, plester, they cheer. They deserve more than just segelintir kasa. They deserve more than that. They deserve antiseptic, high quality bandage, attention, affection, decent fund, equality, health services without discrimination or one eye view.

But because they never received those kind of things, then when they saw us carrying a handful of gauze in small plastics carried by young men with stiffed disabled hands, offering sincere, innocent, and minimally knowledgeable medical services, followed by girls dressed brightly typical of city kids, their eyes shine so bright like they are seeing justice at the end of the road. It’s weird. They deserve more than just a handful of gauze.

I believe everyone has their own calling. I hope mine can provide the same hope so that I can continue to see the twinkle in the eyes of people like them and give the same value as everything has been mentioned above.

Sungguh tidak penting punya gelar berderet panjang. Ketika kamu kembali ke masyarakat, semuanya akan dilepas layaknya kamu nggak punya apa-apa. You just come as you are physically, karena gelar panjangmu nggak tertulis di dahimu.

Mereka berpikir aku yang memberikan sesuatu untuk mereka tapi sungguh aku yang banyak belajar dari mereka. Ketika meninggalkan desa ini, yang kudapat bukanlah “selamat tinggal” tapi:

“Besok-besok datang lagi ya. Tak tunggu di rumah. Nganget sudah jadi rumahmu juga.”

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