Indonesia still has a long way to go before it can boast a police force that doesn’t accept bribes. As it stands, that is how most officers make ends meet. By extorting extra cash to look the other way, they can make more money than they would ever make from their paychecks.
But this story isn’t about the corrupt officers – this story is about the few that take their job very seriously! He is a hard-working man who does whatever he needs to in order to provide for his family. In Malang, East Java, Bripka Seladi holds two jobs. At 58 years of age, he works harder than a lot of people ever expect to in life.
By day, he is a police officer. He keeps the peace and follows the law. By night, he scavenges through trash to sell and make extra money. It is a tiring routine, but at the end of each day, he feels good about his life.
He has three children and became an officer in 1977, but over the past decade, he has started his side-job of digging through trash.
I saw that many people were picking up trash around my office. I thought, there’s money in this. If it doesn’t get picked up, the trash will mount. So I started doing it myself.”
Seladi earns Rp 25K–50K ($1.80-3.67) each day from selling trash. He knows that many people make fun of him when they find out, but he would rather his hands be dirty from digging in garbage than have his hands dirty by accepting bribes.
His son currently looks up to him as a role model, and because of his father’s actions, he wants to also become a police officer.
I’m not ashamed that my father is a police officer and also a scavenger. It’s an honest job. I’m proud that my father taught us about honesty,” he said.
Hopefully through his story, more officers will look for other ways to make a living instead of accepting illegal bribes.
To see more inspiring articles and uplifting content, check out Happy Tango every day! If you loved what you saw here then like and share this with the links below!