- In Features
- Post 25 October 2015
- By Maryati/Setiorini
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INDONESIAN WOMEN/SUNDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2015/ART
For the first time an Indonesian teenager was elected as a child delegate to attend a series of activities of the UN General Assembly in New York. Putri Gayatri, a high school student in Bandung, raised the issue of child marriage into the international forum. At the age of 15 years, Putri Gayatri got a very valuable experience. In the city of New York, she shook hands with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, sharing the stage with actress Salma Hayek and Queen Rania, in action with the child activist Malala Yousafzai and had discussion with Vice President Jusuf Kalla. Besides being a delegate for Indonesia, Putri became the representative of the 20 teenagers delegation to read out a vision for the world in 2030.
Smart, dedicated, and friendly, that is the figure of Putri Gayatri. The girl was born in Bandung, February 12, 2000, Putri was named as a child delegate to the UN General Assembly on the proposal of an NGO, Save The Children. Putri Gayatri has been familiar with the NGO since she was entering high school. She has been actively campaigning for the prevention of early marriage in Bandung, particularly Sepen, Sukasari Village, Pameungpeuk, West Java. She often actively participates in all activities and campaign of the non-governmental organization.
Putri Gayatri, the third child of Yeni Wahyuni and Heri Effendi, who lives in Kampung Sepen, Sukasari Village, District Pamengpeuk, West Java, was present at the opening of the Summit of Sustainable Development agenda Post-2015 at UN headquarters, which was also attended by Vice-President Jusuf Kalla and 193 world leaders. To participate in this session, Putri made some preparations by inviting friends for discussion and to accommodate aspirations of the issues around her. In her neighborhood, early marriage is still often the case. She said that early marriage among students often ends up with the students expelled from school. According to Putri, they should still have the right to education. Children who married early should not drop out of school for it will extend the chain of poverty.
Besides child marriage, Putri Gayatri also raised the issue of inclusive education. Students with disabilities, she said, are also entitled to study in public schools so that they will be ready to mingle and compete in society..Puteri states, that children with disabilities, if put into Special Schools, will only compete with other persons with disabilities. When they’ve grown up and work they will mingle with other people and they have to get used to it in public schools and are prepared to have a competitive edge.
Global Goals Vision and mission proclaimed by Putri Gayatri along with 19 delegates from around the world are divided into education, unhealthy behaviors and child marriage. Putri and her friends found facilities and access for the disabled are still very limited. Even many of them do not attend school. Putri feels a greater commitment is needed by them. On the second point regarding child marriage, Putri saw many of her friends who had to quit school when they were pregnant and forced to marry. Putri said that if they can not attend school, they will forever live in misery or poverty. In addition, she also felt that getting pregnant and marriage at an early age is very dangerous for the mother and child. iAt the point of unhealthy behaviors, Putri said that today more and more young generation have started to smoke even since they are in junior high school. Smoking is not good for their health, now and later.
Putri Gayatri is planning to set up a discussion forum for students to encourage more Indonesian children to participate and voice their aspiration. She also wants to strive for marriage age limit of 16 years set out in the Marriage Law, revised. According to him, a teenager of 16 years should be at school since they are still immature and not ready for a marriage.