Kumari makes a 12-km journey
The Covid-19 pandemic has plagued all over the world and deprived the lives of human beings, from the young to the old. It’s a horrifying disaster that has had an unpredictable, destructible impact on society. Currently, India has become one of the worst-hit countries that have suffered a deadly disease from this lasting spread. In such a miserable situation, they come up with intriguing stories. They have spellbound readers due to tireless effort, extraordinary energy, and on top of this, vigorous love for beloved ones. With these characteristics, an ordinary girl like Kumari can overcome any obstacle. It is unbelievable that such a skinny girl could make a 1200-km journey across India to carry her father on a bicycle. This has attracted the attention of the Cycling Federation of India.
This blog is about Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old Indian girl who carried her father on her bicycle from a gorgeous city to her far-remote home village. It’s Kumari, a daughter of a low-income family born in 2005 in a small village Sirhulli in the Darbhanga District of Bihar. This district is one of the thirty-eight districts of Bihar State. It is bounded on the west by Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur Districts, the east by Saharsa District, the north by Madhubani District, and the south by Samastipur District. Furthermore, Darbhanga is one of the most backward districts.
Jyoti was born into a family of three daughters and two sons. She is after her eldest sister. Kumari studies at a village school and helps the mother bring up her younger sisters and brothers. All family members live on the father’s humble earnings. He made money by doing some errands for neighbours. One day, the father decided to leave his beloved family and homeland to earn his livelihood. There were too few things to work for money in his residence. In fact, he didn’t want to leave his family. And he wanted to work in the neighbourhood to earn money and look after his children as well. It was out of his will or plan.
Mohan Paswan is Kumari’s father. For him, the family matters more than anything else, and he wants his wife to stay home to take care of the children. The bread-winning is his role in the house. One day, he saw it was not easy to land a fairly paid job in the home village, so he told his wife to go to New Delhi for employment. His wife and members of the family had no choice and said “yes” to him. A new page opened for him in terms of employment and destination as well.
After her father departed from a small village to a big city, Kumari gave a hand to her mother by driving her young brothers and sisters to school and back home. Besides daily housework, her mother did some errands for neighbours to earn some extra income to reduce the husband’s burden. In addition to studying hard at a village school, she drove her mother to a market by bicycle every other day. Riding a bicycle trains Kurami much more endurance. In other words, the difficult situation is a way to build her ability to cycle down the road.
Tuk Tuk driver
Luckily, Mr Paswan got a job as a tuk-tuk driver in New Delhi in less than no time. Tuk-tuk is common inconvenient means of transportation in the city as it is not expensive. A tuk-tuk or auto rickshaw is a motorized version of the cycle rickshaw or pulled rickshaw. One of the world’s largest Tuk-tuk manufacturers is Bajaj Auto Pune in India. It is popular in this country because its size and speed fit narrow and crowded streets. Also, it has become the principal and practical means to cover longer distances within urban areas. Thus, it is easy to land a job as a Tuk-tuk driver.
Thanks to hard work and love for his family, Mr Paswan worked hard to earn a pretty income that covered his rent of a 20-meter room, meals, and the rest sent to his family. He drove more than 8 hours a day; sometimes, he drove almost the whole day for an out-bound trip rent by a family. Every week, he sent money to support his family in the country. With this amount of money, the wife still tried to manage her family expenses to meet both ends. However, life is the same as what they want.
Misfortunes never come alone. Kumari’s family went out of a frying pan into the fire. In January, an unlucky road accident made him hospitalized for a while, bringing difficulty with finances. The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in India is part of the worldwide spread of coronavirus disease. To deal with the deadly spread of CID-19, the Government of India urgently imposed a mandatory lockdown nationwide. As a result, this caused a disturbance in society, particularly which made lower-class workers suffer from being laid off. It is a real impasse for their families because they work to get paid daily.
Difficulty in finance
After treatment at a hospital, Mr Paswan returned to his 20-meter apartment. Hearing of his traffic accident, his wife and Kumari felt nervous and jumped on a train in no time to see him and wanted to take care of him for a while. Upon arrival in New Delhi City, seeing her father in a badly healthy condition, Kumari felt a lump in her throat and couldn’t fight back the tears. She burst into tears because she knew her father had come upon an unexpected happening due to toiling and moiling. After furrowing her eyebrows and putting her lips inward for a moment, she said to her mother that she wanted to stay there to take care of Mr Paswan. The wife couldn’t stay for long as she needed to come back to her home village. The children were under the care of kind neighbours. Also, she worked as a cook in an Aganwadi.
The trouble is Mr Paswan had a broken leg; he couldn’t walk by himself. He needed someone to help him walk. And, Jyoti stayed to look after her father. Difficulties in finance came up with them. Paswan was injured; he couldn’t work to earn money. Kumari was too young, 15 years old, to land a job. Additionally, there was a lockdown in society; all businesses were closed. No hire was needed. Besides daily expenses, they had to pay for accommodation that was not cheap for them at the moment.
Taking care of the father
Kumari made an effort to nurse her father back to health. For herself, she didn’t spend any penny on her food, but she went to the market to buy everything healthy for her father to cook for him. Mr Paswan was weak; it took a long time to heal his injury. In addition, they didn’t have much money; her father rarely visited a doctor at request regularly. Therefore, the treatment lasted longer. With Kumari’s enthusiastic care, Mr Paswan’s health improved, and he planned to work again. But business in the city was closing down, and there was no employment. He was torn; part of him wanted to stay for a job, and part wanted to leave for home because they incur daily expenses. With the hope of securing a job after the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, he liked staying in New Delhi City for a while.
But he didn’t know how long the pandemic came to an end. In such an ongoing happening, particularly the highly contagious Delta variant first detected in April, they didn’t see any silver lining in the coming days. Thinking of a solution to the dead-end of their current life, Kumari made her decision that both of them would leave the city for her homeland. Kumari discussed this matter with her father about her decision. Mr Paswan thought that her plan was reasonable as the stay in New Dehli wasted time and money. While his earnings were reduced, both of them worried about the future. Further, the landlord wanted to throw them out of the house due to the failure to pay. Twice did he cut the electricity.
Riding a bicycle home
Mr Paswan’s neighbour is a kind man who is a vendor of children’s toys. He left home early in the morning and went across alleys to sell toys to children. However, children seldom bought toys because their families were in financial difficulties. He brought some food for lunch outdoors. Only did he have dinner at home after a long business trip. Sometimes, he cooked more food to give some to Kumari. He had a bicycle that had not been used for a long time. One day, he came to bring some food for Jyoti. She told him about her plan to go home by bicycle. He said it was impossible to carry out this idea because the government had launched a nationwide lockdown for three weeks. Later, it was extended to two more weeks. Further, they would get a fine if the police caught them on the road.
But every cloud has a silver lining. To avoid the police patrol, Jyoti thought that she and her father would sometimes go nights and sleep in the morning. Thinking that it was a good idea, Mr Paswan persuaded the vendor to sell a gearless bicycle at a low price. The vendor agreed to this deal as the bicycle was out of work. After the purchase, Kumari bought some accessories to replace old or out-of-work ones. So, she took some days to put the finishing touches on her bicycle. Both of them prepared for the longest journey of their lives by buying some dry food and potable water. A journey goes towards an offer of the Cycling Federation of India.
A 12-km journey
On May 18, Jyoti created one of the stories full of indomitable courage and persistence. It will highlight the amazing struggles of ordinary people, workers, children, and women who return home on foot without the government’s aid. The lockdown of the government had a bad influence upon millions of labourers across India. They had no source of income and were running out of rations.
Kumari started peddling on a destination-changing trip with her father sitting on the rear-side carrier. She covered almost a 12-km distance to her home village this way. Only except for a short span, she takes a lift on a truck. After 10 days of the journey, taking this lift helped her restore herself to health. Then, they had to leave the truck as their initiative was different. Upon arrival in Mazaffarpurr, she informed her mother of her coming home by night. Like other areas, the residents in Sirhulli were also scared of the covid-19 pandemic and did not allow people from outside to go into the village. Luckily, a few other people had returned the same day on a truck, and the locals had agreed on their entry into the village. So when Kumari and her father returned, no one opposed them.
The Cycling Federation of India
Thanks to local support
Later on, in some press interviews, speaking of her journey on the bicycle, Jyoti said, “I would ride the bike with my father behind for more than 100 km per day. We would stop at a petrol pump on the roadside, spend the night there resting or sleeping and resume our following morning trip. I wanted to thank all the people we met at the petrol pumps. At all the petrol pumps where we stopped for a while, the locals offered us food, drink, and encouragement. I can say they treated us very well. I wouldn’t have made such a striking trip if I couldn’t have received your enthusiastic help during my itinerary.” Along with these press interviews, Kumari received a call from the Cycling Federation of India.
An invitation for a professional cyclist
Mr Omkar Singh, chairman of the Cycling Federation of India, was impressed and amazed by Kumari’s pedalling skill. She showed her mettle in covering a distance of more than 1200 km within only 7 days with Mr Paswan. Thus, the federation would offer Kumari an opportunity to become a professional cyclist. They wanted to provide her with a trial for selection as a trainee. Her talent would be tested on a computerised bicycle. However, Kumari put her education a top priority. Thinking that she could do anything she wanted after completing her education, Jyoti put the profession of cycling aside. She refused a once-in-life offer from the Cycling Federation of India. Later, a film about Jyoti Kumari was released to introduce the world to an extraordinary effort of a little Indian girl.
The lesson acquired from the blog is the love of a daughter for her father. Thanks to this sentiment, Kumari could do anything outside of her ability. Next, cycling a 12 km distance is her exceptional capacity. With a slim body, she peddled a bicycle carrying Mr Paswan is not an easy practice. With her determination, she made it. Last but not least, education plays a key role in her life. However, her family is in financial difficulties, particularly because the father was injured and a burden to her family. Kumari doesn’t want to cease learning to work. For her, education matters more than the invitation of the Cycling Federation of India.