Purnawan Budisetia

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014


This profile was prepared when Purnawan Budisetia was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Purnawan is working on changing the cultural value system as part of preventive measures against disability. Since it is difficult to break through the culture of cast system especially to get the buy in of the highest caste priest of Brahmana, Purnawan has successfully engaged religious leaders (Pandita) from the lowest cast priests to bring about the idea. Together with parents of disabled children, these Pandita educate people about the high risks of intermarriage and disability. While preaching, they remind people to discontinue and avoid forbidden marriages, including intermarriage as written in the Balinese Hindu traditional customs. Purnawan also works with religious communities to break the stigma against disability, which is perceived to be a punishment for misdeeds in the past thus is not allowed to go to temples for praying. Now disabled people could practice their religion and pray in temples. Purnawan also works with schools and council young people on intermarriage as part of adolescence reproductive health education.

Purnawan integrates rehabilitation and education for the disabled people to improve their lives as equal citizens. Having reversed the traditional belief about disability as a family disgrace, Purnawan has been able to convince parents not only to let their children go outside, access the rehabilitation therapy and get education, but also to take part in the rehabilitation therapy at home. He has linked this program with the District and Provincial Social Welfare Bureaus through their Social Service Mobile Unit.

In the near future he plans to spread the programs to other regions in Bali and beyond, utilizing his national network of Social organization National Partner and Cerebral Palsy Children Community.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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