Rabu, 27 Januari 2010

SMART UI: Garut's Iron Stock

I just came home after a hectic week working in Garut for SMART UI Goes to School (SGTS) 2010. It was very tiring moment for both physic and psychology. That was ok, as I got so much fun among that crowd however. Also I got precious lesson about being energetic and vivacious anyways. It was awesome!

Garut, I just left that place for a semester or so, and this month is my first visit afterwards. The highway I initially passed in that small town reminded me to my adolescence undertaken in Islamic boarding school. I ever lived here, in which fraternity and togetherness were above all, in which I spent my teen-age tales; love, deliquencies, and all. However, I no more visited this city as a naive plain high school boy. I’m now a university student with different view at the time I got the gate of that city of dodol.

My first come was colored by anxiousness. Garut is a city enriched by various cultures and resourses; dodol, orange, sheep, gas, and tourism. There were so many potencies to be explored for people welfare. However, I see the inhabitants aren’t in their ideal. There’s —the overwhelming problem actually— poverty, traditionalism, and deep myth grow prosperously. I once visited Situ Bagendit and went a raft up crossing the lake. It spent Rp 30.000 for a turn. When my Dad offered some lower, the employee said that he had only Rp 5.000 from the fee, and the rest must be given to his boss who wasn’t Garut person. Wow! He got far more lower for the ‘property’ he had than alience. I got many stories about primitivism like Kampung Naga, Kampung Duku, etc. I wonder their education access that must be very low. Also myths and all the irrational fiction spread widely to every corner of that city. It’s not Padjajaran Kingdom anymore, it’s now modern age, I said.

I thought the main problem was Garut’s lack access of imformation, given that stuff is crucial for progression in this era. Distance could be reason for previous time, but it’s not available anymore for today borderless world. Our Dads probably had less chance to be like us—to be student in outstanding university, so they also had little information to share with their little brothers and peers. Now the situation is absolutely different. Garut has many sons spred around the world. They are now in many prestigious universities like ITB, UI, UGM, and some foreign institutions. Here we are!

I think it’s now the time to reform Garut towards modern age. I didn’t say to change the cultures, as they are our fundamental. It’s the spirit of modernization we have to overspread to every point in this diamond city through information and event establishment. And we, the Silaturahim Mahasiswa dan Alumni Garut UI (SMART UI) are part of those who have the duty.

We actually have done great job through yesterday SMART UI Goes to School (SGTS), but it still needs many more for reformation. I belive, we, although only a little part, can implement that great change. I remember Mr. Juwono Sudarsono, the former minister of defence and security once said that a 80% of people is influenced by 20%. So, the 20%, it’s time to show up Garut in this nation stage.

I’m glad to work in SMART UI, and impatiently wait for other incredible ideas for Garut progression. Hidup Mahasiswa!

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