• Tommy Reza (left) gives Mr Suratman the money donated (Facebook/Tommy Reza Chokolatoz)
"Many people from Jambi and even overseas from places like Hong Kong and Malaysia got in touch to ask me where they could donate money."
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

13 Jun 2017 - 11:39 AM  UPDATED 13 Jun 2017 - 11:44 AM

People have rallied behind an Indonesian banana seller who was attacked and robbed of all his savings.

The 94-year-old gentleman, who is known only by one name, Suratman, was left crying on the side of the road in the province of Jambi on Sumatra island after having one million Indonesian rupiah (A$99.50) stolen from him.

Motorcyclist Tommy Reza heard Suratman shouting for help and pulled over.

Suratman told Reza he had been approached by a driver who asked him to enter his vehicle to sell the fruit, because they didn't want to be seen buying food during the holy month of Ramadan.

Once he was inside, two men made him hand over his money, before they kicked him back out onto the street.

Suratman had been saving up to buy new furniture for his family as part of Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the end of June.

Reza wrote on Facebook about the incident, prompting an outpouring of generosity from people who read the heartbreaking story.

 

He decided to start a fundraising collection to get Mr Suratman his money back.

"Many people from Jambi and even overseas from places like Hong Kong and Malaysia got in touch to ask me where they could donate money," Reza told the BBC

The post has been shared more than 71,000 times, and to date people have donated 37 million rupiah.

The local governor donated an additional five million rupiah, bringing the total to 42 million rupiah - or A$4,179.

"[Mr Suratman] was very grateful and he was praying. I told him that I was only the messenger," Reza said.

"Indonesians are amazing. I'm touched by their compassion towards one another."

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