I Nengah Latra founded PUSPADI Bali in 1999 (formerly YAKKUM Bali until 2013) to provide support to people with physical disabilities from impoverished, remote or inaccessible areas of Bali and East Indonesia.
At 19, Pak Latra experienced a serious accident when a kerosene lamp exploded during a religious festival in 1986 and covered him in burning fuel, which fused his arm to his torso. Feeling ashamed, he locked himself away for two years after the accident and avoided human contact, due to a cultural stigma that a disability was a curse.
Later, Pak Latra came into contact with a field worker from YAKKUM Yogyakarta (nonprofit rehabilitation center), where he received surgery and treatment so he could regain the use of his arm and hand. He spent the next decade working at YAKKUM, where he saved enough money to return to Bali and begin supporting local people with physical disabilities.
On his return to Bali, Pak Latra bought an old car (which he used as his home, office and ambulance for the next four years) and drove all over the island, searching for people with physical disabilities who where hiding away in their homes. In those early days, he’d assess their needs and source a wheelchair or mobility aid, such as crutches. Or Pak Latra would assist a local child with a disability who never had an education to go to school.
Since then, PUSPADI Bali has expanded its team and supports more than 5,000 people with physical disabilities in Bali and East Indonesia.