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Published On: Thu, May 21st, 2020

15 Year-teen Girl Brings Father From Gurugram To Bihar On Bicycle

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DarbhangaNEW DELHI : 15-year-old Jyoti Kumari of Darbhanga brought her ailing father by bicycle from Gurgaon in Haryana to Darbhanga in Bihar on Tuesday.
When her father found no way to return to Bihar amid the lockdown after being rendered jobless, eight -grade pass Jyoti Kumari gave him hope him saying: “Chinta na kare mai hoon na”(Don’t worry, I’m here)” and took him on a bicycle.
She covered  a thousand kilometers from Gurugram in Haryana in seven days and reached Darbhanga on Tuesday. She counted that around  100 to 150 kilometers were covered by bicycle with her father in a day. “Wherever I felt exhausted, stopped, washed the face with water being carried in a plastic bottle and gave some biscuits and water to father and again set off towards destination – Darbhanga,” she said.
“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,” said Paswan, his face betraying the sense of bewilderment he felt when she first came up with the suggestion.

He tried hard to dissuade his daughter, telling her that the journey was not a matter of 10, 20 or even 100 km and that driving a bicycle with a pillion rider much heavier than herself was no mean feat. But Jyoti persisted.
“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,” Paswan said.

She recalled that trust of his father reposed in her during journey by a bicycle kept her determined and going on throughout the way. When there was too much fatigue, she used to sit on the road and get some rest.
She recalled with tears in her eyes that she had to remain hungry for two days but fed her father with whatever she had carried with. “In many places, some people moved at our miserable condition or seeing me riding a bicycle with an old age man,came forward and helped with water and some  food,” she said, adding that her father Mohan Paswan is a source of strength to her.
In March, the teen from Bihar had gone to Gurgaon to visit her father Mohan Paswan after an accident left him unable to continue with his job of driving an e-rickshaw.Then the country went into lockdown to fight the global pandemic.
Jyoti was forced to stay with her father. With no job, no money and with the landlord threatening to throw them out, the father-daughter duo was staring at starvation.
“I was able to buy some time. I promised the landlord I would take up whatever job I could once the lockdown was lifted, earn money and pay all his dues. I had to discontinue my medicines so we could afford one meal a day,” Mr Paswan said.
His wife, Jyoti’s mother, stays in their village back in Bihar, where her four younger siblings also stay. Her mother, an Aanganwadi worker, pawned jewellery to raise Rs 15,000 to help her father. Jyoti decided to head back to her hometown Darbhanga in Bihar, but not without her father.
Local media compared her to Shravan Kumar from the epic Ramayana, the boy who carried his old parents in baskets tied to a pole balanced on his shoulder when they desired to go on a pilgrimage. “She is indeed my Shravan Kumar. The journey back home has been nothing short of a pilgrimage,” Mr Paswan said.

Jyoti, a hero in her village, has tugged at many hearts. A group of jawans called on her and gave her Rs 5,000 cash. A senior official in Darbhanga said: “When her quarantine is over, we will definitely help Jyoti.” He said to begin with, the state government would ensure her admission in Class 9 and also help her financially.
(With Agency Inputs ).



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