“We Are Strong People. And We Believe We Will Pull Through This”: Balinese Ni Made Ratni Embraces Her Disability with Poise
Ni Made Ratni was born with a complication on both her legs. Because of this, she became fully reliant on a wheelchair. Due to her disability, her life was impacted unlike a normal person and she has never left the house since the age of 14––an age where teenagers enjoy life to the fullest. And, being in a wheelchair can be a challenge to move around on a tropical island like Bali. In 2010, she had both her legs amputated. For most of us (who are typically-abled), this may have a damaging effect on our self-esteem. Amazingly, the transformation has opened doors and led her to a more positive tomorrow ever since.
And now 10 years after that, the whole world is shaken by the pandemic. Bali, her home, was hugely impacted by the loss of tourists. Looking at the predicaments, it has reminded her of how resilient she was, and that it was just the ebb and flow of life. Without needing the help of anyone, she is able to move around free as a bird; with a wheelchair and be independent.
Now Ratni is 25 years old, and she has achieved so much, including being awarded as The Most Inspiring Woman in 2019, and the Best Player Australia in 2018, where she played as the Wheelchair Rugby Indonesia captain and named “Most Valuable Player” (MVP) for Women’s Wheelchair Rugby in 2015, 2016 and 2020. Up to a point where she represented Indonesia for Women’s Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby, and was selected to join the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Training Camp in Thailand.
Her unbeaten run for success continues as she won the first and second place at Maybank Marathon Bali in 2017 and 2018. She managed to finish the 10km wheelchair category in 1 hour and 15 seconds. Other accomplishments include first place for Women’s Lawnball in 2018 and second place for Fencing Bali in 2018.
Currently, she is the chairperson of Cahaya Mutiara Ubud Foundation, a home residence for disabled people established by disabled people. This foundation helps children and adults with disabilities through education, sports, music and art therapy, amongst other things. They make a living––without any government funding––by selling their crafts.
Here, Ratni discovered her passion and talent for traditional dance and sports, rugby in particular. This experience has given her a new lease on life and given perspective to members in the foundation. They are among the participants who received support from Maybank Indonesia’s Reach Independence & Sustainable Entrepreneurship (RISE) program. This program aims to stimulate entrepreneurship through micro loans to help build a better (and more sustainable) future for the local communities from all corners of Indonesia––be it Jakarta, Bandung or Tangerang.
Watch Ni Made Ratni’s video to be inspired.