Indonesian teen who walks 8km to school and once nearly fainted gets bursary and electric bicycle

11 months ago 52

His days of walking 8km to school – over a period of two years now – are over.

After nearly fainting in one commute, an incident that was recorded by a TikTok user, Indonesians have pitched in to help Viky, 16, a high school student who goes by one name.

The video that was posted online also drew the attention of the deputy mayor for South Tangerang, Mr Pilar Saga Ichsan. He visited the family in his constituency and presented Viky with a bicycle and helmet.

Mr Pilar said the city’s education office awarded Viky a bursary so he could complete his studies and graduate with a diploma.

The teenager was first captured on camera clutching his head in apparent distress while sitting by the side of a road in his school uniform, tended to with tea by a drinks’ vendor.

He told the TikTok content creator with the camera that he was walking back to Ciputat where he lived, from his school in Bojongsari Lama, West Java. The 8km journey takes more than 1hr 30min by foot.

In a subsequent video by the same TikToker, Viky said he often walked so that he could save the 10,000 rupiah (S$0.90) given by his mother daily for bus fare and food in school.

His father is unemployed and recovering from a recent stroke while his mum is a housewife.

Viky, the eldest of four siblings, had to transfer from a private school near his home to his current school as his family could not afford the tuition fees and devices needed for technical classes, such as a mobile phone.

He sometimes worked as a parking attendant after school, earning around 15,000 rupiah a day, which he gave to his mother.

Viky’s plight received considerable attention on TikTok, with the first video viewed more than 12 million times as at Friday, nine days after it was posted.

Other videos also show the teen receiving more gifts like an electric bicycle and a mobile phone from netizens.

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