Informal Workers’ Livelihood Ruined by Pandemic

Despite the “new normal” era, the pandemic hasn’t really ended. Many informal workers who don’t have steady sources of income have been financially severely affected by the global outbreak. Our joint efforts are direly needed to ease the impact of the pandemic.

Dayat, a beneficiary who took foodstuffs from the Food Alms Gathering Point in front of the Bogor Raincake shop, Friday (10/23) afternoon. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

ACTNews, BOGOR – Holding a musical instrument he made from used pipes, Dayat and his fellow buskers joined the queue for the foodstuffs at the Food Alms Gathering Point in front of the Bogor Raincake shop on Jalan Padjajaran, Bogor City on Friday (10/23) afternoon. They also took meal packages. They were very thankful for the food. Although the quantity wasn’t much, but at least they can save some money.

"Thank you, brothers and sisters for the free food," he said to the Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia Bogor who took part in the food distribution at Bogor Raincake Shop.

Dayat and his music group are buskers who usually sing at crossroads in the city of Bogor. Every day they work at crossroads that are busy with motorists. Their income is uncertain, especially since the pandemic. Their income has been decreasing.

"Not many people give money to us. Since the coronavirus pandemic, the streets have been quiet, especially due to the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB)," said Dayat, Friday (10/23).

Besides Dayat, Ahmad, an online motorcycle taxi driver, also felt the impact of the pandemic on the economy. Although the PSBB has been loosened, Ahmad admitted that his income is still decreasing.

MRI Bogor team delivering a food package from the Food Alms Gathering Point to one of the beneficiaries. This Food Alms Gathering Point is located in front of the Bogor Raincake Shop on Jalan Padjajaran, Bogor City. (ACTNews / Eko Ramdani)

"Maybe there are still many who are afraid to take public transport. They now prefer to ride their own vehicles,” said Ahmad.

Dayat and Ahmad are just a few of many who have been struggling to during this pandemic. They do not have regular salaries and sources of income. Hence, the pandemic has really compounded their financial difficulties. In the “new normal” era in which the economy is expected to recover, the COvid-19 cases are still on the rise.

Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has come up with various programs and initiatives to deal with the pandemic, one of which is the National Movement for the Food Alms Gathering. ACT’s Food Alms Shelves were placed at several locations to provide food for those in need. Everyone can also actively participate by giving foodstuffs through the program. Khisnul Hasanah from ACT Bogor Program Department said that collaboration with all parties and the general public will determine the success of the efforts to reduce the impact of the pandemic

"ACT and MRI are opening the opportunities for everyone to participate in various acts of kindness," explained Khisnul.

ACT has also provided the Indonesia Dermawan website as a medium to facilitate almsgiving. The donations that are collected will be used to funds humanitarian programs, including to provide foodstuffs through the Food Alms Gathering. []