By Linda Satibi (Translated by Danang Kawantoro)
The physical disability from society’s point of view still conforms around the thought that the disabled people are the one whom must be helped a lot. While in the contrary, with all the physical limitation those disabled only need to be allowed to have equal rights. They deserve to be provided adequate facilities to assist every activity in order to be equal as normal people.
Unfortunately, the efforts to create equality have not yet fully accomplished. Putting much hope towards government is likely a hard thing to do. Even though The Convention of Disabled People Rights Act has been issued however the implementation is still forceless. Even complaining about this issue will not mend the situation.Many disabled people then choose to focus on self-improvement with all of their limitation.
Heri Hendrayana, or more well-known as Gol A Gong, shares his experiences as the disabled with outstanding achievement through his novel entitled Pasukan Matahari (The Troop of The Sun).The inspiration which is delivered by Gol A Gong through the character of Doni not only touches the disabled. Parents who have kids with disability will be enlightened by the depiction on how supports are supposed to be given. Thus the kids with disability could grow and evolve with the ability to explore the potential that they posses.
The plot is moving forward and backward. It begins with the unfair treatment received by Doni from the printing company wherein he works.Request for leave which already has been submitted a month before is denied and he is asked to keep on staying instead. Doni rejects it strongly, but the responds he gets turn out to be unpleasant.“Doni! You’re supposed to be proud because the company hired you. The company has raised your level. Be realistic, Don. With your handicapped hand, you’re supposed to be grateful this company does not discriminate you.” (page 14)
These kinds of remarks are frequently delivered on the daily basis. The disables are not measured by their skills, but rather as people who deserve pity.The crucial moment that will be done by Doni is a reunion with his ten childhood friends which are divided into two groups. The first one is, the Troop of the Ant. This is the friends who live in Doni’s neighborhood with the total of seven people. The second one is the Troop of the Sun. They are friend of Doni who are his fellow amputated patients in the Local Hospital Serang, with total of three people. Those eleven are planning to reunite by climbing the Anak Krakatau.
As the plot is moving backwards, the story is about the Troop of the Ant and the Troop of the Sun. The positive encouragement from his friends plays a very significant role in Doni’s life after he falls down from a tree which causes his hand to have amputation procedure. Due to his parents’ big heart and nurturing confidence always to Doni, his life runs as typical normal people. He even accomplishes the brilliant achievement in literary world and badminton. One of the advices from Doni’s father which he always remembers is, “Life as the disabled needs struggle. But have faith, books and sport will make you strong in dealing with discrimination from society!” (Page 42).
Living in a suburb does not make those eleven country kids have a doubt to dream. They build their dreams and work together to support the dreams with positive attitudes. No one undermines each other dreams. All of them believethat anyone is able to make dreams come true only if trying real hard along with praying. Albeit having physical limitation, Doni and his three friends improve themselves to compete with other people who have complete physical build up.
Other than the emphasis on the disabled world, this novel also shows how important it is to love books. Doni’s life is very close with books, and that open his thinking horizon. At home, his parents own a reading room in which its books are allowed to be read by anyone. Doni’s and his other friends are urged to love reading. Likewise while he is hospitalized, Doni and his friends diligently visit the hospital library. Over there he is inspired by stories of the great people he reads. Even the doctor who tends for him is supporting his love in reading.
The librarian says, “You diligently read books. Keep on going. Reading books will enrich your knowledge. I could be a doctor due to having hobby in reading. All the great people in this world love to read. I am sure that if you keep on reading you will not have inferiority complex just because you have only one hand! (page 254).
It does not mean that this novel is always about Doni and all of his achievement. There are also other conflicts which make Doni’s stories are not dull. The trait of the characters is not all perfect. The role of every character is well contributed. Doni is not the one and the only champ. The readers are asked to sink into the variety of life problems through people around Doni. Thisinspirational novel and full of contemplation is served with simple and understandable language. It is certainly interested to follow the amusing and heartfelt stories with lots of lessons in it.
Title : The Troop of The Sun
Author : Gol A Gong
Publisher :Indiva Media Kreasi
Published Year : 2014
Pages : 368
Price : IDR 69,000