Caring without patronizing
Paper Edition | Page: 22
Recreation nowadays is considered to be a necessity, especially for those living in urban areas such as Jakarta. A visit with the family to a public park during the weekend may help them relax, after dealing with work and the famous heavy traffic of the city.
“Good morning. How are you? Where are you from? Come here often? Nice to have a clean place isn’t it?”
If one day, while sitting in a public park, someone with a big smile greets you and then has a small chat about how good it is to have a clean public park, that person could be a member of Wisata Bersih. Wisata Bersih (Clean Recreation) is a group that goes on recreation trips to public places, chatting with people there about not leaving any garbage outside garbage bins and keeping the place clean.
This activity was initiated by a group of people who care about the cleanliness of recreation facilities in Jakarta.
The idea of initiating such an activity came from the experience of Krisnasari Yudhanti, one of the initiators. Sari, a member of Komunitas Lantan Bentala, had an unpleasant experience of going on a recreation trip with her family to Ragunan Zoo.
She found the place so uncomfortable due to overflooded garbage bins and visitors with a bad habit of littering.
Not happy with what she saw, Sari then decided to give away plastic bags she had to help visitors carry their garbage before they could find the nearest garbage bin.
This experience triggered an idea to create an action that could help keep our public recreation places clean. A small discussion was then held in Pura Aditya Jaya, Rawamangun, to develop ideas for the action to achieve the goal. The discussion participants agreed that one way to do it is by engaging visitors, who play an important part in this problem.
If visitors with bad habits can make the place dirty, then good visitors can help make a difference. The action should be simple, easy, inexpensive and non-exclusive, so that anyone could participate.
That simple action is going to public recreation places as a visitor and having a conversation with the people, such as other visitors, sweepers, food/drink vendors or just about anyone we can interact with. Start the conversation with a simple topic and don’t forget to get comment on your expectations for the place.
Our fellow activists also bring used plastic bags with them. They will offer the plastic bags to those who need temporary storage for garbage before finding a garbage bin.
So far, this simple action has proven to be quite effective. Visitors don’t feel that they are being patronized or judged. Instead, they are supported to develop and maintain a good habit and to help participate in keeping the place clean.
This way, visitors can easily understand that it will be comfortable for them and also other visitors if the place is clean.
In the beginning, there were several communities involved in the activity: Komunitas Lantan Bentala, Perhimpunan Pemuda Hindu Indonesia (Indonesian Hindu Youth Association), Koalisi Pemuda Hijau Indonesia (Indonesian Green Youth Coalition), Gerakan Pemuda GPIB (GPIB Youth Movement) and IndoRunner.
There are no limitations on anyone, community or individual to participate. It is highly suggested that communities apply the simple concept of Wisata Bersih in their activities. Anyone may share their stories or pictures of their Wisata Bersih activities wherever they go, especially through social media. It will help to inspire those who are concerned about keeping their public recreation places clean.
Up until now, Wisata Bersih activities have already been held twice. The first time was in Monas on June 30 and the second was held in two places, Taman Menteng and Kota Tua, on Aug. 11, where our fellow sketchers from the @Sketsa_ku community became good example to other visitors by doing cleaning after sketching and not leaving any garbage on the spot.
The activity will be focused mostly in public parks, considering the ease of accessibility to various communities. Additional improvements will later be added to the activities to make them more fun and interesting and also more inviting for communities to join the activity to help spread the message.
So, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever activity you and your community do, remember to do a Wisata Bersih action and keep our public recreation places clean. One person talking to another makes a difference. For those with a Twitter account, you can share your stories and pictures of your Wisata Bersih action and mention @WisataBersih.
Do a Wisata Bersih action everywhere you go. Become an inspiration to others in a simple way.