Asep: The Most Important, I Can Eat
Asep Maulana had suffered from swollen face from birth. At the beginning, it was only a small lump, but then it became bigger.
Since it kept on swelling, it pulled veins and nerves of his eyes. As a consequence, it disturbed his visibility. He admitted that he only could see clearly at a 5-meter distance.
As a result, Asep was bumped by vehicles several times when he was doing ngamen (singing to beg for money). “Since my eyes were blurred, I was ever bumped by a motorbike that I felt flat on my face. But, it’s okay. It was at my own risk,” Asep added carelessly.
The 17-year-old teenage said that when he had a relapse, he would get a fever and headache. “If I had a relapse, I would get a headache and fever. In such a bad condition, I could not do anything,” said Asep recently.
Asep’s life is far different from other children at his age. Asep said that he has never studied at school.
To meet his needs, the teenage who has separated from his parents since 9, relied on his voice by ngamen on the city buses. Asep said that he didn’t get fixed income. The most important thing for him was that he could have his daily meals.
“If I was lucky, I would get 50 thousand a day. If not, I would only get 20 thousand. The most important, I had money to buy food,” said the boy who has become an orphan at 6.
The second child of three used to sang at Pulogadung, Kelapa Gading, until Kampung Rambutan areas.
For Asep who also suffers from hernia, the front of dirty public toilet at terminals and chair at city buses are the proper beds to relieve his tiredness at night. Asep feels that he is already used to the hard life in Jakarta.
“If I did ngamen until late at night, I often joined the bus returning to its pool. I often slept at the pool. When I was at Pulogadung bus terminal, I slept at the front of public toilet, on the old paper,” he said easily.
Now, Asep is receiving medical treatment at LKC (Free Health Care) Dompet Dhuafa Ciputat. Asep, who lives solely in Jakarta hopes his sight will recover soon. Besides, he also wants to study at school. [nes]