Tuk tuk library brings joy of books to Jakarta’s poorest children

The mobile library bringing books to children in some of Jakarta’s poorest neighbourhoods.

Jakarta, Indonesia – Sutino “Kinong” Hadi was not even 10 years old when he dropped out of school.

Now in his late 50s, he has spent most of his working life driving a tuk tuk, known in Indonesia as a “bemo”. The three-wheeled vehicles were a popular mode of public transport until they were banned in Indonesia‘s capital, Jakarta, last year in an effort to reduce pollution.

Kinong’s bemo, however, is still on the road.

The government gave him a special exemption from the ban, since his bemo no longer carries passengers – but books.

Most weekday mornings, he visits schools in some of Jakarta’s poorest neighbourhoods, providing disadvantaged children access to books.

“I don’t want the next generation to be like my generation,” Kinong, who left school in fifth grade, told Al Jazeera.

As he approached a primary school in the Karet area of Jakarta, the children abandoned a toy seller’s stand and mobbed Kinong’s library on wheels. Before he could even lift the covers up, the children had stuck their heads inside and were grabbing books.

Al Jazeera tagged along with him for the day.


Filmmaker: Hassan Ghani

Producer: Surya Fachrizal

Source: Al Jazeera