Crumbling sidewalks, lack of ramps and building accessibility disadvantage people with disabilities

By Farabi Ferdiansyah

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Taswid and Rohayati sell crackers at the exit gate at East Tebet Traditional Market, South Jakarta. (Photo by: Farabi Ferdiansyah)

Taswid, 48 and his wife Rohayati, 42 years old are a blind crackers seller. Every day, they are sitting on a bench at the exit gate at the East Tebet Traditional Market from 7 AM to 11 AM. They are waiting for people who want to buy their crackers.

“Yang kerupuk, kerupuk (crackers)!” shout Rohayati to attract people attention.

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Taswid and Rohayati blind crackers seller walk around Tebet and Kebon Baru Street. (Photo by: Farabi Ferdiansyah)

The trip to a market is dangerous. They navigate the streets around Tebet and Kebon Baru, South Jakarta that has no specific signs for impaired person. They have to walk tens of kilometers on a roadside, cross many intersections and railway tracks, without using overpass.  They are risking their life to earn about Rp 100.000 (7$) per day.

He has faced bad experiences as blind cracker seller because of lack of infrastructure for the impaired person.

“I often get hit by a vehicle. Moreover, I fell into a deep hole over 2 meters high,” said who have 2 children.

Taswid and the others disabled people do not have a choice to get a better job. They have to survive even though the infrastructure is not friendly for disabled people.

More Isolated

People with disabilities are less likely to be employed. According to Census 2010, having a mild disability gives a person only a 64.9 percent chance of being employed compared with a nondisabled person. For people with more serious disabilities, that percentage drops significantly to barely more than 10 percent. Demography of Disabled People. They are more isolated than able-bodied people because of the difficulties that they face to get public accesses.

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Every day Taswid and Rohayati cross intersection and railways in Tebet and Kebon Baru Streets to sells crackers. (Photo by: Farabi Ferdiansyah)

Gufron Sakaril, a chairman of The Indonesia Disabled People Association (PPDI) said that the organization has been lobbying the government to improve the facilities in order to provide better access for people with disabilities.

“The infrastructure is a part of the important factors why disabled people not develop. Many of them find difficulty to get access to school or get a job due to the inadequate infrastructure for disabled people,” said Sakaril.

KAta data

Data from the Central Statistic Agency of DKI Jakarta there are 6.003 disabled people in 2015. South Jakarta is the highest city with 2.290 disabled people. Source: Katadata 


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The infrastructure in a metropolitan city in Jakarta does not support disabled people. Disabled people must navigate uneven, broken sidewalks, holes, building without ramps, and lack maintenance. (Photos by: Farabi Ferdiansyah)

Lana Winayati, the advisor of Minister of Public Works and Public Housing admits many infrastructures in Indonesia aren’t disability friendly.

“We need more budged and time to socialize the stakeholders and the regional government as a supervisor in the region to provide the infrastructure that accessible for disabled people,” said Lana.

The urban planning expert from Trisakti University, Nirwono Yoga said the percentage of disability-friendly infrastructure is very low because there are no sanction and control from the government.

“The participation of people with disability in urban planning is not optimum, starting from planning, construction and the arrangement of the city,” he added.


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Muslim Compound main gate at Culiat, Tandang Sora Quezon City (22/10).
Muslim Compound main gate at Culiat, Tandang Sora Quezon City (22/10).
The view of Muslim Compound at Culiat, Tandang Sora Quezon City (22/10).
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Portraits of the children in Muslim Compound (22/10).
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