YOGYAKARTA - Suyatno (63) parked his pedicab behind Grha Sabha Pramana and locked it with a chain. Not long after, he took out a green plastic bag stored in his pedicab’s backseat. He hurried to go to the corner of the building and opened the plastic bag. A brown batik shirt is neatly folded. "I need to wipe the sweat first before wearing this," Suyatno said before going up the second floor where an event was taking place.
Suyatno came to the UGM campus in order to attend the meeting of parents of new students on Thursday (8/9). He came not as the parent of the new student, but as a special invitee. He is considered successful to send his son to become a doctor graduating from Faculty of Medicine UGM. The man who lives in Terban, Yogyakarta, has four children. However, only the youngest son, Agung Bhaktiyar, made it to study in higher education, even been inducted to become doctor in mid-2011.
Suyatno said that his son never told him that he had registered for UGM entrance test in 2005. The son only told him after he had been admitted. At that time, Suyatno was shocked and fell silent, had no idea if his son could study at the Faculty. But Suyatno agreed to support his son though he was still in doubt whether he would be able to fund his son entirely. However, he did not say a word. "I’m trying until you can finish college, son," he said at the time, encouraging the child.
Agung also understood the condition of his family. He never forced his parents to fulfill his desire. Since childhood, Suyatno already taught his children to live simply, even for school uniforms and shoes, he used to buy the second-hand ones. Suyatno could not afford much. From his job as pedicab driver, Suyatno could only bring home money for 20,000-30,000 rupiah per day. His wife, Saniyem, helped the family economy by working as a collector of junk in the Terban market.
Nevertheless, Suyatno and Saniyem were still optimistic and prayed that someday his son could do better. "I used to dream at least my children would go farther than me," the man graduating from Sekolah Rakyat (elementary school) said. Along the way, Suyatno did not worry about tuition of his son for six years in the Faculty since Agung received scholarship from UGM. "But for photocopying and pocket money, he still asked for it from me. If there was not any, there was nothing else we could do," he said.
Suyatno’s experience in sending his son to be doctor is delivered before 3,717 parents of new students at Grha Sabha Pramana. The story touched some parents. Some others were awakened. One thing for sure, Suyanto’s testimonial proves that pedicab drivers can also send their children to UGM, even becoming a doctor!