Bihar school girl Jyoti Kumari, who cycled 1,200 km with her injured father from Gurugram to Darbhanga, will appear for Cycling Federation of India trials once the lockdown ends even though finishing matriculation is her primary aim.
“We will surely send for the trials after the lockdown is lifted. She was enrolled into class nine yesterday. At the moment, we want her to complete her matriculation,” her father Mohan Paswan told PTI from Sirhulli near Darbhanga.
Rendered jobless and penniless because of the extended COVID-19 lockdown, the 15-year-old was forced to ferry her father who was unable to walk properly after a surgery to his left knee following an accident.
Impressed with the doggedness with which Jyoti pedalled her way for more than 1,200-kilometres spanning over a week, carrying her ailing father, the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) has invited Kumari to appear for a trial next month, in what could be a life-changing opportunity.
Bihar: Jyoti,who cycled around 1200 km carrying her injured father from Gurugram to their native place in Darbhanga,amid #COVID lockdown,has been offered trial by Cycling Federation of India. She says,"I'm very happy that I got offer,will go to Delhi for trial next month".(22.05) pic.twitter.com/qNf41Zsf03
— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2020
“Yes we received the call from New Delhi (Cycling Federation of India). We said she needs rest now may be after two-three months we will see,” Paswan, who fractured his leg in an accident while driving his auto-rickshaw in January, said.
CFI Chairman Onkar Singh recently told PTI that if Jyoti passed the trial, she will be selected as a trainee at the state-of-the-art National Cycling Academy at the IGI Stadium complex here.
The father and daughter duo started their journey from Gurugram on May 10 after buying a cycle with whatever money they had and reached their village on May 16.
“We saw many of the fellow migrant workers walking home. But I could barely walk so we bought a second-hand bicycle and started our journey on May 7,” Paswan recalled.
In her village Jyoti had earlier regulary cycled 5 kms to reach to her school.
“Jyoti cycled for long hours even during the night and we managed to hitch rides on trucks and tractors for stretches across Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
The District Magistrate of Darbhanga has also reached out to her and enrolled her in class nine at the Pindaruch High School.
She has also been given a brand new bicycle, school uniform and shoes for her higher education.
LJP offers to sponsor Jyoti’s education
Meanwhile, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has offered to sponsor education for Jyoti.
LJP president Chirag Paswan on Sunday (May 24) said that he has been speaking to the teenager and her family for days and has urged her to pursue education of her choice wherever in the country she wants.
“I will sponsor her education in any stream which she thinks is best for her,” he said.
Offers of help have poured in for Jyoti after she was forced to pedal the huge distance with her father sitting on pillion to reach home during the lockdown.
During these difficult times we all are doing the best to help citizens. Was moved to see the courage of a young girl from Bihar who paddled for over 1000 Kms on cycle from Gurugram to Darbhanga with her father as pillion.
Spoke to @KirenRijiju for identifying her talent (1/2) pic.twitter.com/BBBxSOV6K0
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) May 23, 2020
Her toughness and endurance became one of the stories that have defined the difficulties migrants have faced during the coronavirus-triggered due to COVID-19.
BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that he was moved by her courage and urged Sports minister Kiren Rijiju to give her full support to groom her as a cyclist if she so chooses.
मैं विश्वास दिलाता हूं @irvpaswan जी, SAI अधिकारियों और साइक्लिंग फेडरेशन्स से ज्योति कुमारी के परीक्षण के बाद मुझे रिपोर्ट करने के लिए कहूंगा। यदि संभावित पाया, तो उसे नई दिल्ली में IGI स्टेडियम परिसर में राष्ट्रीय साइक्लिंग अकादमी में प्रशिक्षु के रूप में चुना जाएगा। https://t.co/OdgEVqfrge
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 24, 2020
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan also made a similar request to Rijiju, and said Jyoti should be given proper training and scholarship.
The sports minister has assured that he will ask officials concerned to report to him after conducting her trials.
If she has potential, she will be selected as a trainee at the National Cycling Academy in the IGI Stadium complex in New Delhi, he had tweeted.
Ivanka Trump praises Jyoti on Twitter
On Friday (May 22), Jyoti caught the eye of US President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump, who praised the 15-year-old for her “beautiful feat of endurance and love.”
Ivanka took to Twitter to highlight the story of the Indian girl, a class eight student, whose journey has become an extensive talking point even on social media where there has been talk about whether she has it in her to pursue cycling as a career.
15 yr old Jyoti Kumari, carried her wounded father to their home village on the back of her bicycle covering +1,200 km over 7 days.
This beautiful feat of endurance & love has captured the imagination of the Indian people and the cycling federation!🇮🇳 https://t.co/uOgXkHzBPz
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 22, 2020
“15 yr old Jyoti Kumari, carried her wounded father to their home village on the back of her bicycle covering +1,200 km over 7 days. This beautiful feat of endurance & love has captured the imagination of the Indian people and the cycling federation!” Ivanka said in a tweet.
Ivanka, who is advisor to President Trump on job creation, has visited India twice, most recently in February this year along with her father. In 2017, she led the US delegation at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India.
(With inputs from agencies)