Struggling to Survive Amid Decreasing Income

Since the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, Onah’s income has drastically plummeted. No once comes to buy the gado-gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce) and and bite-sized snacks that she sells. Her small stall has been Onah’s only source of income.

Onah’s stall in Ciamis on which her family has been depending for their daily livelihood. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, CIAMIS – Bite-sized snacks, fried foods and gado-gado were Onah’s main merchandises that she sells at her hawker stall. This small stall is the one and only source of income for Onah and her family.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Onah’s livelihood hard. With many people having their purchasing power declining, no one would come to her hawker stall. The students at a nearby Islamic boarding school used to be Onah’s regular customers. With the boarding school temporarily closed, her sales have been significantly decreasing.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sales have been decreasing because the nearby Islamic Boarding School has been closed temporarily. The students used to be my regular customers, "explained the mother of four, Tuesday (6/16).

Previously, Onah could earn a gross income of around IDR 150,000 to IDR 200,000. But now she earns a gross income of mere IDR 100,000, with the profit of IDR 25,000 daily. To survive, her family must skimp and spend less.

Onah’s economic condition becomes even worse as her husband has also been laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Until now, Onah’s husband, who used to work in Bandung, has not been working.

With her family relying on her hawker stall for the source of income. Onah needs funds to expand her business. Without enough sales, it will be difficult for Onah to pay for daily necessities, including her children’s education "I still have to pay for my children’s High School Equivalency," she said.

Onah is one of many women who are the breadwinners of their respective families by running small-scale enterprises, juggling between business and family. []