Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday hailed the 15-year old girl Jyoti who cycled almost 1200 kms from Haryana’s Gurugram to their hometown in Bihar’s Darbhanga with her injured father riding pillion amid the lockdown.
Taking to Twitter, Prasad said that he was moved by the girl’s courage and determination and also asked Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to provide full support to the girl and develop her as a cyclist if she’s interested.
“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 Kiren Rijiju for identifying her talent. Also requested the Sports Minister to give full support to this courageous girl from Bihar- Jyoti Kumari Paswan by way of training & scholarship to develop her as a cyclist of repute, if she is willing. I salute her courage and determination,” Prasad said in a Twitter thread.
Also requested the Sports Minister @KirenRijiju to give full support to this courageous girl from Bihar- Jyoti Kumari Paswan by way of training & scholarship to develop her as a cyclist of repute, if she is willing. I salute her courage and determination. (2/2)— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) May 23, 2020
Jyoti peddled all the way for 30-40 km a day with her father, Mohan Paswan, riding in pillion. It was a long and painful journey but at long last, after almost eight days, the father and the daughter finally managed to reach their native village of Sirhualli.
Mohan, who used to provide for his family by running a tempo in Gurugram, met with an accident and as a result, rendered jobless because of his injury. He was unable to earn and his landlord had given him an ultimatum to pay the rent or to vacate the house.
It was then that on his daughter’s insistence, Mohan bought an old second-hand bicycle on a loan and the duo left Gurugram for their native place.
Meanwhile, the Cycling Federation of India, impressed with her determination, invited Jyoti to appear for a trial in Delhi next month. Chairman of the federation Onkar Singh told PTI that if Kumari, a class eight student, passed the trial, she will be selected as a trainee at the state-of-the-art National Cycling Academy at the IGI Stadium complex.
“We spoke to the girl this morning and we have told her that she will be called to Delhi next month as soon as the lockdown is lifted. All the expenses of her travel, lodging, and other will be borne by us,” Singh said.