Fifteen-year-old Jyoti Kumari, aka India’s ‘bicycle girl’, has shown no interest in going to the trials of the Cycling Federation of India (CFI), at least not now. The Bihar girl was offered trials as a trainee at the National Cycling Academy in New Delhi, but Jyoti says she wants to finish her matriculation first. Jyoti shot to fame after her ordeal of cycling 1,200 km with her injured father from New Delhi to Darbhanga went viral.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jyoti started cycling, with her injured father riding pillion and began their 1,200 km-long journey on May 10 from Delhi. They reached Darbhanga on May 16.
  • When the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) offered her to go for trials as a trainee at the National Cycling Academy in New Delhi, she rejected and said she wants to focus on her education.
  • The villagers also provided them both with food and they were screened and quarantined at Government Middle School, Sirhulli.

“Earlier, I could not continue my school education because of my family problem and I was occupied with the domestic work…but now I wish to complete my matriculation first,” she told The Hindu. CFI offered her the trial opportunity after her incredible story won hearts in the nation.

“I also feel physically weak now after such a long arduous journey.”

As soon as the father-daughter duo reached their village they were quarantined at Government Middle School, Sirhulli.

Along with her mother and brother-in-law, Jyoti had travelled to Gurugram at the end of January to treat her father who broke his leg in an accident. While others went back to the village, Jyoti stayed back to look after her father Mohan Paswan. When the lockdown got further extended, the teenager decided to take her him home as they were unable to pay Rs 6,000 for the fare.

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Injured father and a 7-day bicycle journey

Paswan had lost his job and was left with only Rs 600 in a big city like Delhi. The 15-year-old was forced to pedal her father, who was unable to walk properly after a left knee surgery, all the way from Delhi to Darbhanga.

“Jyoti suggested we too should leave for our village, like others…but we had no money… she bought a second hand bicycle from a neighbour and asked me to sit on it and we set off on our journey on May 10,” Paswan said.

In her village, Jyoti would regularly cycle 5 km to reach to her school. This time she cycled for long hours on the seven-day journey to reach home on May 16. “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. Praising her courageous move, the District Magistrate of Darbhanga has enrolled her in class nine at the Pindaruch High School.

Hats off to this brave girl!

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Feature Image Credit: Indian Express

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