Many people have been  spending their days away from home during this ongoing pandemic. For the migrant workers, the lockdown has been particularly harsh and difficult. Fifteen-year-old Jyoti did not just walk for miles but decided to carry her injured father from Delhi to Darbhanga, Bihar – almost 1,200 kilometres – on a bicycle.  A desperate daughter cycled with her ailing father all the way from the capital to reach their village, reported the Times of India. Her father had lost his job, suffered a leg injury, so this determined daughter decided to take her injured father home.

The father-daughter duo started their journey on May 10. They first attempted to go home by bus but when enquired they were unable to pay Rs 6,000 for the fare. They both completed their journey and reached Darbhanga on May 16.

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 somehow managed to buy a bicycle worth Rs 500 and carried her father to Darbhanga. The residents were in a state of surprise.
  • The villagers also provided them both with food and they were screened and quarantined at Government Middle School, Sirhulli.

“I did not feel very scared even while cycling at night as we used to see hundreds of migrants walking on the highways. Our only concern was road accidents, which fortunately we did not face,” the Class VII student said.

Her father suffered a leg injury

Jyoti said, “My father used to drive an e-rickshaw in Delhi. But he became unemployed because he had to surrender the rickshaw to its owner after the lockdown. And he also suffered a leg injury.”

Jyoti and her father had only Rs 600 when they left Delhi. So, they bought a bicycle worth Rs 500 and saved the rest of the money for the journey. Jyoti said, “We did not have much money and the landlord pressured my father either to pay or vacate the room. No one was there to help us so we decided to return to our village. We talked to a truck driver, who demanded Rs 6,000 for bringing us from Delhi to Darbhanga, but we could not afford to pay the money. Finally, I asked my father to pillion ride on the bicycle bought with Rs 500 and we started for Darbhanga.”

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Slept for two-three hours only

Talking about the journey, Jyoti said she cycled day and night and rested for mere 2-3 hours. The teen said, “We had only Rs 600 with us when we left Delhi. I used to cycle day and night taking breaks of two-three hours at petrol pumps during the night hours. We mostly ate food at relief camps and those offered by some good Samaritans on the way.”

Immediately quarantined at the village library after they reached their hometown, the villagers also provided them with food. Being the only female at the quarantine centre, Jyoti was advised to isolate herself from home.

Mukesh Paswan, brother-in-law of Jyoti, says, “We were surprised to know  Jyoti cycled back from Delhi with her father as pillion.”

Jyoti Kumari has now got a call from the cycling federation to appear for a trial next month. Cycling Federation of India Chairman Onkar Singh told PTI that if Kumari passed the trial, she will be selected as a trainee at the state-of-the-art Nation Cycling Academy at the IGI Stadium complex in Delhi.

Hats off to this brave girl!

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Feature Image Credit: Indian Express

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