REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, By: Julkifli Marbun/Editor in Republika.co.id
Perhaps what he did is not mean anything to ease the burden on the residents of Sumatra, especially in Medan, North Sumatra. But Muhammad Darwish Nasution, a social activist continues to fight.
In recent months, the smoke from Riau and Jambi blanketed the city. Flights were in chaotic; many residents were reducing outdoor activity to avoid respiratory diseases.
In early October, as a field coordinator, he gathered his fellow activists to distribute masks for residents in need.
They were, among others, Gerakan 70 Indonesia Merdeka, Yayasan IBU Fondation, Save Our Rivers, Turun Tangan Medan, LPM Dinamika Islamic State University of North Sumatra, students of Medan Polytechnics and several other youth organizations.
They joined in the ‘Movement against Silence, Remove Smoke’. They organized solidarity actions, criticism and collecting donations and petitions consist of 1.000 signatures against smoke disasters that lasted for two months and have affected serious consequences in several regions in Indonesia.
The action took place at Lapangan Merdeka rallying point and then dispersed in several locations including Bundaran Guru Patimpus, Merdeka Square, Pelataran Stadion Teladan, and crossroads of Jalan Aksara that begins with the convoy and performing arts around Merdeka Square.
He explained that the action was motivated by empathy of Medan youths to create a resolution as a form of encouragement for the government and related parties on overcoming lack of seriousness to combat smoke that has cost the lives of many people.
"This movement contains demands to the government and relevant parties to combat haze problem, more seriously," he said.
One of the summarized resolutions is an effort to encourage the executive and legislative members to limit regulation permits only for companies which have anticipatory measures to combat forest fires and smoke issues, for those in and favour of people interests.
"We are together with friends to encourage the authorities to conduct full investigation and enforce the law to any party involved in burning the land, and at the same time applying strict and fair sanctions," he said.
He said further action was organized in an effort to establish a joint working team between the government and the communities in an effort to realize the assurance of the safety of victims exposed to smoke and to make joint efforts to minimize the increasing number of casualties.
Darwis’s activities may be considered to represent the wish of Indonesian youth to engage directly to alleviate the burden of the citizens from various daily problems.
What did he expect from this action?
"Just to serve the community," he said a briefly to Republika.co.id.
Not only to combat the haze problem, previously, Darwis as Coordinator of North Sumatra area, also involved in Time Capsule Expedition 2085.
In the event, an expedition team brought seven of hopes for Indonesia in the year 2085. They visit each province in Indonesia, started from Aceh then North Sumatra then to other provinces.
The team started the journey in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam on 22 September. In the North Sumatra the expedition arrived and organized activities in two days on 25 and 26 September 2015.
He said, after collecting the Indonesian hopes, the capsule will be opened in 2085.
"Then it will be stored in a time capsule and [the team] will visit other province in Indonesia and [the capsule] will be opened in 2085. These expectations will be applied in a movement, the Movement of 'Let's work'," he added.
The activity was fully supported by the regional government of North Sumatra. The goal is to unify all components, namely the government, officials, businessmen, professionals to realize the shared ideals in accordance to Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution and Trisakti; the political sovereignty, self-reliance in the economic field, and personality in culture.
A series of activities, organized in the framework of the 70 years of Indonesian independence, begins with the formulation of seven expectancies at Bina Graha Building Jalan Diponegoro. The event attended by various elements of society ranging from scholars, students, community, civic organizations, and institutions through Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on the 25 September.
He explained an important point of the activity is to attrack people to participate in order to make a better Indonesia.
"The most important point is that the expedition is an attempt to encourage people to hand in hand making a better Indonesia," he continued.
Two of these activities did not seem to make him tired. Beside, Darwish is also active as Chairman of the Young Generation of Islamic Propagation Council (AMMDI North Sumatra) and Chairman of the Alumni of Al Kautsar Al Akbar Islamic Boarding School (Pesantren), Medan (PB Alkala).
PB Alkala is one of Pesantren Al Kautsar Al Akbar‘s alumni association beside Keluarga Besar Al Kautsar Al Akbar (KBAA) founded in Jakarta, IKMAL in Aceh and so on.
As an alumni of an Islamic school established by Sheikh Ali Akbar Marbun, a Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) AHWA member, Darwis held weekly routine gathering to discuss various social issues with other member of alumni. Every month of Ramadan, they hold annual reunion event. This year, they hold it in Jalan Pelajar 264 Medan, where the Pesantren is located.
For his friends, Darwis has been active in various extracurricular activities since his education at the Pesantren. He was the Chief Editor of Voice of Al Kautsar (VOA), guided by Ustad Jafar an alumni of Gontor. The media did not survive in a year. After that, his succesor Julkifli Marbun, founded a new media called 'Magazine of Kreasi Santri' for the Pesantren, with his pupils during the latest teaching devotion period.
In sport activities, Darwis also has been a representative of his school in Pencak Silat Tapak Suci martial arts championships between schools in North Sumatra.
At the age of 40 years, Darwis still carry out other social activities. He always refuse various encouragements from his friends who urge him to join political parties.
"For me life is part of the search for the blessing of Allah," he said politely.