Jakarta, IO – Talking with Ayuningtyas “Tyas” Widari Ramdhaniar is always a pleasure. She has a sharp wit, honed by her life experiences, which she related exclusively to us at the Independent Observer. That afternoon, I met up with Tyas at the Aston Hotel Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. She looked chic in her blue blazer suit, and a simple “Hello, how are you?” opened up our meeting.
There are many identities connected with the name “Ayuningtyas Widari Ramdhaniar”, but Tyas herself claims to prefer being referred to as a “Public Facilitator”, “Because I facilitate the interest of the many, not just women,” declared this graduate of the University of Indonesia’s Social Welfare and Regional Autonomous Master studies.
As the Managing Director of Diesel One Solidarity, as well as founder and Executive Director of ReThinkbyAWR, Tyas maintains her focus on bettering the interests of the marginalized. But why? “It is my passion to strive for the welfare of the marginalized, especially in terms of health, and even more specifically, health discrimination for the very people who need care the most – women and children. Very few people care for them, so I decided to be one,” she said.
One of the problems most frequently found in relation to mental and emotional health among the marginalized people is bullying. This is a cause dear to Tyas’ heart, as she herself was a victim of bullying during her school days: “I was in 4th grade of Elementary School at the time. I had absolutely no idea what ‘love’ or ‘crush’ is, nor what ‘pretty’ or ‘handsome’ is. I guess some people got angry that I didn’t care about such things – and they did things to me like hurling that long wooden class ruler at me, pelting me with chalk pieces and books, teasing me constantly… I could only run away because I was scared. I never fought back when people did bad things to me,” she confessed, her lips trembling with the painfully vivid memory. “Did you know, I still got bullied in the first year of Middle School? The person who bullied me was provoked by the same Elementary School classmates who bullied me. I finally got fed up enough to stand for myself and slapped him in return.”