ACTNews, SURABAYA – Since the age of 40, Darsono (64), has been peddling tauwa (silky tofu pudding) by his bicycle in Surabaya. He does this job to earn income for his family. Bowl after bowl of tauwa that he sold became his source of income to meet his family’s needs.
However, since the Covid-19 outbreak in Surabaya in 2020, Darsono's income has dropped drastically especially during the enforcement of Public Activity Restrictions (PPKM). He can only sell a few portions of tauwa.
“During the pandemic, there are not many buyers. People are afraid to go outside. From morning to noon, I have only sold nine bowls while I need more money for my wife’s medical treatment,” said Darsono in early August.
Ridwan (40), a cracker seller, also faces difficulties during the pandemic. The man who used to peddle around in Dukuh Setro, Tambaksari, Surabaya, admitted that he couldn't get much money from his sales. In addition to the lack of buyers, it’s also caused by his health condition that is no longer fit. Currently, Ridwan can only sell a few bags of crackers, each bag of crackers is sold for IDR 3 thousand.
“This way, I cannot earn my capital back. There’re only a few buyers. It’s a very difficult situation,” said Ridwan.
Darsono and Ridwan's difficult conditions led to a meeting of Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) with both of them. Food packages from Free Food Operation were given as part of the ACT's assistance for informal workers.
Dipo Hadi from ACT Surabaya Program team says that Free Meal Operation is carried out every day that is assisted by Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia (MRI). starting from the residents’ report, the food aid program is delivered directly to the beneficiaries.
“In addition to daily workers, Free Food Operation also targets self-isolating residents,” Dipo explained.
For Free Food Operation, the residents can contact ACT through the “Lapor Min!!” service to assist relatives or neighbors with food aid. “Please call us at 6231-8290570, or those who need free health consultations, we also have our service at number 6221-2940-7156 which will be linked to ACT’s medical team at Menara 165, South Jakarta," added Dipo.