With the ongoing pandemic lockdown, we have heard and read many heartfelt stories of migrant workers. One such story is of a 15-year-old girl cycling her injured father to her home in Bihar amid the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly 1,200 kilometres from Haryana's Gurugram.
Before the lockdown, Jyoti Kumari resided in Gurugram but had to make the tough decision to peddle her way to Bihar together with her father due to nationwide lockdown, and she reached her destination in just seven days.
In what could be a life-changing opportunity, 15-year-old Jyoti will be invited by the Cycling Federation to appear for trial next month.
Chairman of the Indian Cycling Federation Onkar Singh told PTI that if the trial is passed by the Kumari, a class 8 student, she will be appointed as an apprentice at IGI Stadium complex of the state of the art National Cycling Academy.
The Academy, under the Indian Sports Authority, is one of the most advanced facilities in Asia and is recognised by UCI.
"We spoke to her yesterday. We are planning to call her as soon as she is ready and for now she herself is in quarantine," CFI Chairman Onkar Singh told IANS on Friday.
Singh said that the practice is not new for the CFI. "We will put her on to our systems and assess her. We just want to call her for trials where she will be tested on computerised bikes. It is how the test is done for any new cyclist there, and it shows accurately how well they can perform," said Singh.
Asked about the reason for offering the youngster a trial, Singh said "We didn't just randomly pick her up. Cycling 1,200km in seven days is no small thing, and she must have something special in her. All the young inmates that we have got in this Academy are all people picked up from non-cycling backgrounds. They are picked just on their physical parameters. So there is nothing new in that."
Following an accident that made him unfit to live as an e-rickshaw driver, migrant worker Mohan Paswan was driven by his daughter Jyoti Kumari on a pillion in the scorching heat with essential items loaded onto the bicycle after the landlord had asked them to either pay rent or "leave," a media report confirmed.
A native of Bihar's Darbhanga District, the father-daughter duo paddled from state to state for several days, up to their village of Sirhulli, under the district block of Singhwara. Determined not to let her father stay in Gurugram with no money and ailing condition due to the critical accident he had encountered a month ago, Jyoti portrayed an extraordinary spirit by travelling on a bike to unite with their family in Bihar.