Dini Amalia (Ketua Pusat Studi Gender dan Anak Institut Agama Islam Tarbiyatut Tholabah Lamongan)
People all over the world acknowledge Indonesia as the beauty beyond diversities. It, later on, becomes the renowned tagline that steadily related to this country. Indonesia, a nation of over 270 million people, boasts a vibrant culture, stunning natural landscapes, and a burgeoning economy. Yet, beneath this facade of progress, a significant portion of its population faces the harsh realities of underprivileged living conditions. Among this group are the Millennials, born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, who find themselves grappling with a multitude of challenges that hinder their pursuit of a better life.
To talk about a better life, it unavoidably involves several sectors. The first is economy. The economic landscape in Indonesia has evolved significantly over the past few decades. A substantial portion of Millennials in Indonesia is grappling with low-paying jobs, underemployment, and limited access to quality education, leading to a cycle of economic instability. These economic hardships often result in limited opportunities for savings, homeownership, or investment in their future.
Second is about Education Disparities. Quality education is a cornerstone for individual and societal progress. However, underprivileged Millennials in Indonesia often face significant hurdles in accessing a proper education. Limited access to schools, a shortage of qualified teachers, and a lack of resources make it difficult for many to receive the education they need to compete in a rapidly changing job market.
Next sector is Housing Challenges. Affordable housing remains a pressing issue for Indonesian Millennials. Rapid urbanization has led to a surge in housing demand, driving up costs and making it nearly impossible for many young people to purchase their own homes. As a result, they are forced to rent substandard accommodation or live with family members, which can hinder their autonomy and future financial stability.
Healthcare Accessibility becomes fourth sector to be aware of. Access to quality healthcare is another critical issue faced by underprivileged Millennials. Indonesia’s healthcare system faces challenges, including uneven distribution of medical facilities and a lack of affordable insurance options. This leaves many young adults vulnerable to health crises, with limited access to preventive care and treatment when needed.
In an increasingly digital world, the digital divide has significant consequences for underprivileged Millennials. While urban areas may have relatively good internet access, rural regions often lack connectivity, limiting access to online education, job opportunities, and vital information.
In addition, environmental issues, such as deforestation, air pollution, and plastic waste, also disproportionately affect underprivileged Millennials in Indonesia. They often reside in areas with limited access to clean air and water, facing the consequences of environmental degradation.
Despite these daunting challenges, many underprivileged Millennials in Indonesia demonstrate remarkable resilience, resourcefulness, and determination to improve their circumstances. Grassroots initiatives, community-driven projects, and non-governmental organizations are working to provide support, education, and economic opportunities to this demographic.
Moreover, the Indonesian government has also recognized the importance of addressing these issues. Policies aimed at expanding access to education, affordable housing, healthcare, and digital infrastructure are being implemented to alleviate the burdens faced by underprivileged Millennials.
In conclusion, underprivileged Millennials in Indonesia face numerous challenges in their quest for a better life. Economic disparities, education inequalities, housing struggles, limited healthcare access, the digital divide, and environmental concerns all contribute to their difficulties. However, by addressing these challenges and providing opportunities for growth and development, there is hope on the horizon, with efforts from both local communities and the government to create a more equitable and promising future for this generation.