The world of Tzu Chi May 2020 (Vol.122)

The Simple Joys in a Farmer’s Life Usen, an Indonesian farmer, lives hand to mouth in a remote settlement and barely scrapes by on loans. He neglected to equip himself with a face mask and protective goggles when spraying pesticides on his crops, leaving his eyes, nose and mouth exposed to the chemicals whenever a gust of wind blew the fine mist of pesticide in his direction. He was uncertain whether the pesticides were to blame for the cataract in his left eye. “The doctor told me I needed surgery, but how could I afford it?” he confided, recounting his visit to the community healthcare centre to seek medical attention. During a free clinic session conducted by Tzu Chi in the town of Cikarang, West Java in August 2017, Usen successfully underwent surgery to remove the cataract that had clouded his vision for the past three years. Two years on, Usen’s children have graduated from university, allowing him to breathe easy. He now appears less gaunt than before. “Life has been the same, but naturally I feel healthier now that I have been relieved of my burdens. For that, I’m grateful to God.” Usen positions the scarecrow in his farm to deter birds from feeding on his crops, which are due for harvest in two weeks. [Photograph by Anand Yahya]