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SERA Sahabat Disabilitas: Supporting Rumah Batik Palbatu

PT Serasi Autoraya (SERA) carries out a very special CSR program. This program involves people with disabilities (the hearing impaired and children with cancer) who are being trained to create batik by Rumah Batik Palbatu.


Batik is a type of Indonesian traditional cloth made specifically by applying wax to a cloth. After that, the cloth is processed in unique ways with its own set of characteristics. Batik emphasizes quality processes that involve vision.  Batik is synonymous with patience, tenacity, teamwork, thoroughness, art, and diversity.


On the other hand, people with disabilities are part of the community who have special traits that many people don’t have. Their resolve in facing their challenging life inspires SERA to support them. 


Rumah Batik Palbatu was established on October 2, 2013 (on the National Batik Day). It is located in Jl. Palbatu IV No. 17, Tebet, South Jakarta.  In the beginning, Rumah Batik Palbatu was named Kampoeng Batik Palbatu and inaugurated on May 21, 2011. Around 20 batik craftsmen from Solo, Yogyakarta, Cirebon, Madura, and others were present at the inauguration, which resulted in the opening of several batik outlets. In the inauguration, the setting of MURI (Indonesian World Record Museum) Record of “Marking the Road with 133.9 meters of Batik Pattern” was also carried out.


Over time, Rumah Batik Palbatu has held workshops or seminars for students, college students, or the general public who are interested in learning about batik. Such action is an implementation of the vision and mission of Rumah Batik Palbatu, to become the best batik educational tourism destination in Indonesia. As time goes on, it turned out that aside from students, college students, and the general public, people with disabilities also want to learn how to make batik.  Among them are the hearing impaired, orthopedically handicapped, and cancer survivors. Rumah Batik Palbatu has held 7 batches of workshops attended by a total of 80 people.


Products made by people with disabilities in Rumah Batik Palbatu are varied.  It has several superior products such as batik cloths, bags, pouches, pencil cases, and jarik. Upon closer look, the batik cloths produced by Rumah Batik Palbatu are themed around DKI Jakarta. There are motifs resembling Monas, hibiscus flowers, Kepulauan Seribu, baby turtles, etc.  The batik products are called Batik Tuli(s), with the letter s in brackets to symbolize that the products are made by Teman Tuli (the hearing impaired).


However, due to the emergence of the pandemic at the beginning of 2020, Rumah Batik Palbatu has faced some challenges. As it is forced to adjust its activities due to limited mobility, Rumah Batik Palbatu needs support from other parties to survive. As such, SERA has decided to collaborate with Rumah Batik Palbatu in preserving the culture of batik. SERA also wants to become a Sahabat (friend) for people with disabilities, helping them to get through the pandemic and realize their dreams.  SERA's initial support was symbolized in the form of 2 sewing machines and sergers, 100 sheets of plain white cloth, 50 kg of wax, 4 pax of basic dyes for dyeing batik cloths, and the purchase of Batik Tuli(s) products.  SERA also provides support in the form of introducing Batik Tuli(s) to employees and customers. SERA will also list the products on the AKU Bisa Marketplace platform managed by CSR Astra Group. 


With this collaboration, it is hoped that SERA and its subsidiaries can help Rumah Batik Palbatu in realizing its dream of carrying out the 1,000 cloth program (program 1.000 kain).. “1,000 cloths signify 1,000 dreams, and inside 1,000 dreams there are 1,000 possibilities. The 1,000 possibilities hold 1,000 wishes that want to be achieved by both the Rumah Batik Palbatu team and people with disabilities who create batik products at Rumah Batik Palbatu," said Harry Budi, Founder of Rumah Batik Palbatu.


This program is in line with one of the philosophies contained in Astra’s corporate philosophy of catur dharma, namely “To be an asset to the nation”.

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