Whenever it comes to making sure parents are healthy and well, daughters can always be seen on the forefront – making sacrifices, doing their best unconditionally. And it was proven once again by Jyoti Kumari.
Recently, a 15-year-old girl’s story went viral for all the good reasons. In the midst of lockdown, this brave girl cycled 1200 km from Gurugram to Bihar over eight days, carrying her sick father Mohan Paswan seated on the carrier.
No one could deny the fact that our lion-hearted Jyoti is born with great determination and robust willpower. She relentlessly pedaled home with her ailing father in tow.
Jyoti is determined not to let her father return to Gurugram. He was pushed into extreme poverty following an accident a few months ago. This accident left him unfit to make a living as an e-rickshaw driver.
The landlord gave him an ultimatum to either pay the rent that was due for a few months or leave. He recounted:
“I succeeded in buying time on a couple of occasions. I promised him that I would take up whatever job I could land once the lockdown was lifted, earn money, and pay all his dues. We were so hard pressed that I had to discontinue my medicines so that we could afford one square meal a day. How could we have arranged money for rent?”
At that time Jyoti was looking after her father in Gurugram while her mother was taking care of her four younger siblings back in the village working as an Aanganwadi worker. While sharing the details, the father further added:
“Amid the gloomy situation, Jyoti suggested that we return home. I pointed out that we would not be able to find any trains or buses soon and my condition would not allow me to walk. She said we should get a bicycle.
Battered by misfortune, I had become a fatalist. I gave in to her pestering and purchased a used bicycle with the help of whatever savings we still had. And then we hit the road.”
Jyoti said they would cycle for 30-40 km a day and at a few places truck drivers gave them lifts. Recalling her journey, Jyoti added:
“It was unbearably tiring. We would stop by for a quick bite at places where we could spot unlucky ones like us being fed by local Samaritans. At a few spots, we hitched rides on trucks. Drivers, taking pity on us, would help by dropping us to a point from where our paths diverged.
It must have taken eight days… and then, here we were! Back home!”
The father was filled with pride as he was asked about her daughter. She has been compared to the character of Shravan Kumar from the epic Ramayana. Shravan Kumar took his old and frail parents on a long pilgrimage with his mother and father seated in baskets hanging at the ends of a pole he carried on his shoulders.
As cycling for so long is not an easy task, the cycling federation wants to give her a chance. Jyoti has been offered a trial by the Cycling Federation of India. Its Chairman, Onkar Singh told PTI.
“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.”
If she passes the trial, Jyoti will be trained at the state-of-the-art National Cycling Academy at the IGI Stadium complex in New Delhi.
Jyoti’s gesture has triggered a conversation around an important topic – “How we treat our Daughters in India?”
At IForHer, we believe our daughters deserve to be treated with respect and not considered a burden.
There have been numerous examples where our daughters have proven they are not only an asset for their parents but also for society as a whole. And we need to make sure they get their due.