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Pandawara Group

Jakarta, IO – Have you heard of “Pandawara Group?” Its heroic actions in cleaning up trash has resulting in the group rocketing as a hot topic, one trending on social media, consisting of five young individuals: Ikhsan Destian, Gilang Rahma, Muhammad Rifqi, Rafy Pasya and Agung Permana. 

The Pandawara Group involves the community, inviting netizens to participate in cleaning up trash. 

Pandawara Group, made up of five young men from Bandung, was founded in mid-2022. Starting their friendship as high school friends, they shared the same concern about their neighborhood frequently being hit by floods due to accumulated trash. Having houses constantly flooded, they were frustrated, leading them to discover that the root cause of the foods was the garbage piling in the river. This prompted them to create content on cleaning up the refuse, aiming to raise awareness about environmental issues. 

The name Pandawara consists of two words: “Pandawa”, taken from the Five Pandavas, the central characters of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and “Wara,” which means good news in Sundanese. They adopted the name Pandawa because the group consists of five people, as in the Five Pandavas. 

The Pandawara Group started their trash cleaning campaigns and video presentations on TikTok in mid2022, which received a highly positive response from the TikTok communities in a very short period of time. Their consistency in trash cleaning has been proven to be inspiring by the soaring number of followers. 

The Pandawara Group has successfully promoted a clean and sustainable lifestyle to its followers by responsibly managing waste and maintaining environmental hygiene. 

They successfully raised community awareness about the urgency of conserving the environment in 187 areas throughout Indonesia, and managed to clean approximately 620 tons of garbage to date. 

The group has received various awards, including being honored as TikTok 2022’s Local Heroes of the Year. Their success continued when they won three TikTok Awards Indonesia 2023 categories: “Rising Star of the Year,” “Creator of the Year,” and a special category, “Changemakers of the Year.” 

Gilang, a Pandawara Group member, expressed his greatest joy in serving as an example for children. “Our movement has spread further as a result of TikTok. We noticed that when we met children, especially the little ones, who said they wanted to help keep the environment clean, it’s encouraging to see them become aware,” said Gilang in an online interview session on Wednesday, October 8, 2023. 

Another member, Agung, believes that their trash-cleaning contents have widely influenced and inspired young people in other areas to engage in similar activities. He went on to say, “Not only in Indonesia, but neighboring countries also do things similar to ours.”

Due to their outstanding efforts, the Pandawara Group was invited by the Indonesian Embassy in Denmark to learn about waste management from the Circular Economy and Solid Waste Management program in November. 

“Alhamdulillah, we have been invited to learn again, to benchmark how Denmark manages and processes its waste and preserves its environment,” said Ikhsan. 

He continued to say that they would apply the knowledge they learned from studying Denmark’s environmental preservation measures. 

Gilang stated that Denmark has one of the best waste management systems in the world. “This is an excellent opportunity for Pandawara to learn more about Denmark’s environmental governance, from rivers to beaches.” “We will also visit recycling centers and landfills,” he said. 

Gilang emphasized that the group would adapt everything they learned in Denmark to Indonesia. “After we learn from the experts, as time goes by, we will make changes on a small scale,” said Gilang. “Learning from a foreign country is not as simple as we think, as we share different cultures; we have to adapt first,” he said. Pandawara will leave for an approximate 18-day study tour in Denmark, visiting two cities, Copenhagen and Odense. “This is a new experience for us, which requires us to mentally prepare for any unexpected things. Send us your prayers,” said Ikhsan. 

Pandawara revealed their main driving force in advocating for a better environment. “We were mainly motivated by our own experience with the adverse effects of fooding,” said Gilang. “As long as we are in good health, we will never stop and will keep doing this. Environmental damage will affect our future; hence, the fear motivates us to keep moving,” he added. 

Not all of their attempts to clean up dirty areas are successful as, according to Ikhsan, environmental conditions are crucial. “(The challenge) is in nature itself. The rivers and the beaches are usually scorching hot, or there are other natural challenges. We can handle other challenges concerning other elements (such as people) with extra care and thorough discussions,” he explained. 

Read: Ascott Jakarta Supports Local Business And Arts

Gilang mentioned that they frequently run into local residents who take offense at their cleaning movement. “There are still many people who object to our cleaning up in their areas, not just once or twice,” he added. 

Pandawara has been vocal on social media about the group cleaning the environment. Their video content has successfully ignited enthusiasm and awareness among the younger generation. “Our movement has spread. When people meet us, they say they have started to properly dispose of their trash,” said Rifqi. “And many young people are doing the same thing,” he proudly concluded. (des)

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