There are many in this world who struggle to make ends meet, and not every child is fortunate enough to have parents who are able to afford their school fees.
Such is the case of Rehan, a nine-year-old boy in Indonesia who has to work as a street clown in order to earn a living to support his family.
His plight came to light after Instagram user @rhmadii_ conversed with him and later shared his story online.
A photo montage in the post showed Rehan, clad in a Tom and Jerry mascot costume, looking exhausted as he took a break by the roadside.
It is said that the boy has to wake up early every morning and walk 10 km to the busy Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Kalimantan to start work as a costumed character.
His job entails entertaining drivers who are stuck in traffic or office workers who are travelling to their workplaces. In order to appeal to crowds, Rehan said he makes use of attention-drawing acts such as “little jogging”.
He also revealed that he changes his costumes daily to keep performances fresh for his audience. The costumes include cartoon character designs such as Dora the Explorer, Upin and Ipin, Spongebob Squarepants and more.
As to why he decided to work as a street clown, Rehan confessed that it allows him to meet his daily needs. His salary enables him to pay for his meals, contribute to home rental fees. If there’s leftover money, it goes towards his school fees which he “deliberately set aside”.
He admits that the money is “not bad” which allows him to buy packaged rice home.
Although his mother is working, Rehan says the income she earns from odd jobs is only enough to cover home rental fees.
While the boy admitted that walking 10 km to work can be tiring, being able to provide additional support to his mother made him happy.
He also shared that he chose to start walking early in the morning — sometimes before dawn — so that he can avoid the traffic jam. This leaves time for him to return home in the afternoon to play football.