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A Vision of Bali Clouded with Tears

Governor Pastika Saddened by Hunger and Poverty Among the Balinese.

(4/2/2011) Governor Made Mangku Pastika's vision of "Bali Mandara" (Bali Aman, Damai, Sejahtera Safe, Peaceful and prosperous) is proving a challenge to bring to fruition.

Quoted in DenPost, the governor sad he was embarrassed that there are still Balinese who are unable to provide their families with rice for their tables.

Said Pastika before joining a broadcast on BaliTV to discuss his Bali Mandara initiative: "I am embarrassed as Governor that there are still Balinese who do not have rice to cook."

During the program's filming, the governor revealed how he discovered this sad reality of Balinese life when, on Saturday March 26, 2011, he attended a housing improvement program in Jagaraga, north Bali. There, he had occasion to ask a woman whose home was being rehabilitated what she had for lunch.

The woman told the governor that although the time had already passed 2 pm she was unable to cook any rice for her family because her cupboards were bare. She also said she was embarrassed to borrow any rice from neighbors because on long outstanding debts for rice borrowed in the past.

The governor sadly lamented: "Just imagine, there are Balinese with no rice to cook She has 6 children. One of her children is working as a servant."

The governor said this sad circumstance still haunts his thoughts. "Jagaraga is close to the city of Singaraja. What is the situation in the mountains? There must be thousands of people in Bali who still need our help and assistance."

The governor said much has been done by his administration to reduce poverty beginning from the renovation of homes, to free public health services (JKBM) to "adoptive father" support systems.

The governor said he would like to see the head of every Regional Work Unit (SKPD) adopt an impoverished family in order that they can fully appreciate what it means to be really poor.

Urged on by the fact that there are Balinese without sufficient food, the governor remains committed to push forward with Bali Mandara and his pro-poor programs.

In the view of the governor, Bali's wealth and progress means nothing if there are still many Balinese who are hungry and financially destitute.