ACTNews, BLORA - There are 80,000 sacks of rice, each of them weighs approximately 25 kilograms. In total, there are 2,000,000 kilograms of rice collected. In other words, the amount is equivalent to 2000 tons of rice!
This is not about counting how many rice can be harvested in one area, nor is it about rice trading which only revolves around the story between the seller and the buyer.
But this is a story about a great leap of empathy on behalf of the Indonesian people after knowing the plight of Rohingyas. Yes, it is about the incredible humanitarian aid which is accumulated less than two weeks. It takes only two weeks to prepare and collect 2,000,000 kilograms of rice.
Thousands of local farmers are involved in this epic humanitarian mission. Hundreds of hectares of rice fields are harvested in two different districts: Blora―precisely in Cepu Sub-district―and Bojonegoro.
As plightful conditions of Rohingyas were spread widely to the world, stream of empathy drove the urge to help others. Indonesia could not remain silent when humanitarian crisis occurred. We must do something.
So, for the first time in this nation's history, the greatest aid package will soon be delivered to thousands even hundreds of thousands Rohingya families which are now isolated, displaced, and overwhelmed with fear. On behalf of the Indonesian people, this massive humanitarian aid comprising 2,000 tons of rice will be carried out by Humanitarin Ship from the Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, to the Chittagong Port in Bangladesh.
From Chittagong, right along the border area of Myanmar, the number of Rohingya refugees fleeing from Sittwe, Rakhine State, are escalating. This is as in Sittwe, persecution and genocide still hunted down the Rohingyas.
The "scorched earth" tactic launched by the Burmese military cruelly burned down thousands of Rohingya villages. When their house was turned into ashes, their village was gone. There was no choice but to escape and to evacuate themselves.
Rahadiansyah, as a member of the ACTion Team for Rohingyas who arrived in Bangladesh since Friday (1/9) revealed, their condition was poor. Fear and exhaustion filled their face, including the children.
"Infants and toddlers are malnourished because they don’t get breast milk from their mothers. This is as their mothers are stressed enough so that the milk doesn’t come out. Moreover, the elders also look frail with their walking stick. They need supplements to increase their stamina," said Rahadiansyah.
The urgency to provide assistance for Rohingya's newcomers in Bangladesh is endlessly sounded. Currently, there are at least four major aids they desperately need, such as food, nutrition and supplements, shelter and clothing. "Above all, prepared meals is the most needed aid now," added Rahadiansyah.
The Biggest Food Aid, 2,000 Tons of Rice from Blora and Bojonegoro
Why rice? Indonesia is indeed an agricultural country blessed with abundance of rice production. As we all know, rice serves as staple food for majority of Asian communities, including the isolated and oppressed Rohingyas.
Therefore, Blora and Bojonegoro once again are trusted to prepare the best quality rice. Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) drives philanthropic spirit of Indonesian people, repeating epic records of Humanitarian Ship journey carrying 1300 tons of rice to Somalia few months ago.
After sailing to Somalia, Humanitarian Ship is now going to berth at Chittagong, Bangladesh, carrying 2000 tons of rice from Indonesia.
Prior to Humanitarian Ship’s departure, various activities were seen in Jipang Village, Cepu Sub-district, Blora, during the last two weeks. Through the Community-based Food Barn (Lumbung Pangan Masyarakat/LPM) in Jipang Village―a waqf management focusing on nursery and rice production managed by Aksi Cepat Tanggap―thousands tons of rice were prepared for Rohingya.
During that time, the farmers were busy harvesting rice. Ngadi as Head of Jipang Village said, the effort to help Rohingyas is welcomed by the harvest season in Jipang and in the nearby villages.
"We never expect this, but this is good knowing that the mandate to prepare thousands tons of rice to help Rohingya comes right during harvest season in Jipang Village," said Ngadi.
A week earlier, farmers uprooted the paddies with such agility and gathered them in a crock. These paddies entered a machine to be weeded from its stems.
"This is not just a frenzy welcome for the third harvest in this year. It's about the great effort of the Indonesian people to help our Rohingya brothers, who were tossed up by the humanitarian crisis," said Ngadi.
Since last Saturday (16/9), 2,000 tons of rice were loaded to containers for four days. Then, on Tuesday (19/9), the last 20 containers from Cepu will head to Tanjung Perak Port Surabaya in convoy. The containers will be dispatched by Blora Regent, Djoko Nugroho.
As soon as they arrive in Surabaya, Insha Allah, 2,000 tons rice for Rohingya will be loaded into 80 containers. The rice will then be sailed by Humanitarian Ship from Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya, to Bangladesh.
Insha Allah, Humanitarian Ship will be dispatched on Thursday (21/9) by Indonesia’s Minister of Social Affairs, Khofifah Indar Parawansa and President of Aksi Cepat Tanggap, Ahyudin, at the Terminal of Petikemas Surabaya.