Sumanan the Busker

10 year-old Sumanan, come from a broken home. The second of five children, he works as a busker on buses together with his younger brother Suharo, aged nine. They move from bus to bus around Johar Market in Semarang, singing to passengers for a few coins. Sumanan’s eldest brother has left the family to live with his grandmother, so Sumanan and his brother bring the badly needed incom into the family. The money they make is given to their mother to provide for the family’s basic needs. His father lives with a prostitute and does not contribute anything toward the welfare of the family. His mother works as a call-masseur, but the money she earns is not enough to support the family.

Sumanan is illiterate, having dropped out of elementary school at an early age. He is an unhappy boy, with very few prospect for the future. At home he is always being ordered around by his mother, who will punish him when he doesn’t obey. This usually happens when he shows an unwillingness to help his mother with the daily chores.

The difficulties at home have left Sumanan very sad and confused. He is a quiet, passive boy whose reaction to conflicts within his family is one of resignation. “Let it be. It is my parent’s problem,” he says. (Winarso)

Sumber:  Child Worker in Asia, Vol. 10, No. 1, January – March 1994 (halaman 5)




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