The wrinkles on her face showed that she is aging. But this did not stop her from working energically at a restaurant, preparing meals. For over 30 years, Asrida (57) has been the cook at this restaurant to make a living.
Being a widow with four children is obviously not easy for the Padang woman. Her husband died 19 years ago, leaving the youngest child at just 6 months old. Asrida had to be the backbone of the family ever since.
“I help cook at the restaurant, where I’m paid 175 thousands per week,” said Asrida.
Asrida lives in a hut measuring 4 x 6 meters square of her parents in Jorong Tiga Batur area in Tanah Datar, West Sumatera. Asrida has always tried to raise her children well, sending them to school, but unfortunately not all could get until the higher level.
“My first son finished primary school, the second one junior high school, the third one senior high school but is married now and got a job. Thank God, the youngest one can now study at UGM,” she said excitedly.
It was never Asrida’s dream to have her son at a higher education. The youngest son, Deki Putra Ananda, has been accepted at Electronics and Instrumentation study programme at UGM by invitation mechanism. Deki also earned the government Bidikmisi scholarship for the underpriviledged that will fund him at university until the eight semester.
“I’m thankful that Deki can now make his dream come true to study at university. He had wanted to go there since his childhood, but I did not let him because it cost much and I could not afford it,” she said with tears welling up in her eyes.
But seeing the persistence of his young son in pursuing his education has melted her. So, she gave him her blessings to follow his dream.
“Deki always studied hard, from primary school to senior high school he had always received scholarships, so these helped us a lot,” she said.
His teacher at SMA 1 Batusangkar high school even paid for his tuition when he was on his final year.
“He lived in the boarding school and all his cost of living were paid by the school. He would return home every month, and I would give him pocket money around twenty thousand each time.”
Now, it is obviously not easy for the mother to let Deki follow his dream to study and live on his own at a faraway place. But for the future of his son, she hoped the best for him. “I hope his study would run well and in the future he can be successful and lift up the condition of the family,” said Asrida.
Aspiring to be Engineer
Living modestly had never let Deki down. That condition had instead triggered him to learn hard and make achievements at school. Since primary school to senior high school, he always ranked among the big four. In high school, Deki was only given enough money to pay for the taxi motor to get him to school.
The young man born on 15 June 1998 has the dream to succeed his inspiration, Indonesia’s role model in engineering who is also former President, B.J. Habibie. This explains his taking the electronics and information major at UGM with hopes that this can turn him into an engineer that can make the country proud.
“President Habibie is my idol. If Mr. Habibie graduated from ITB, then I would want to be his successor from UGM,” he concluded.