If some dream of becoming sportsmen since their childhood, others turn out to be true athletes by the force of fate! This is the case of Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old Indian girl, who was unwillingly placed in the spotlight due to the health crisis. His father, Mohan Paswan, is a rickshaw driver, a tricycle vehicle widely used in India for getting around or transporting merchandise. He lives in Gurugram, a town not far from the Indian capital, New Delhi.
In March, the confinement decided by the authorities to curb the Covid-19 epidemic put a halt to its activity. Now deprived of income, Mohan must quickly leave his home, with his daughter Jyoti, who came to take care of him two months earlier. Like many Indians, the father and daughter decide to return to their home village in the state of Bihar, 1,200 km away. If they manage to borrow trucks and climb on tractors to travel through Uttar Pradesh at the start of their journey, they then decide to buy a bicycle with what little money they have left.
“She traveled the distance in seven days with her father and also with luggage”
But they face a major problem: Mohan broke his leg in an accident at work four months earlier and is unable to pedal. Mohan and his daughter end up realizing that they will have to travel the hundreds of kilometers that separate them from their small village with the sheer strength of the young girl’s legs.
Armed with courage and incredible willpower, Jyoti climbs on the bike, helps his father get into the back and begins the journey. A real feat which amazed the local media and which was noticed by the Indian Cycling Federation. “Jyoti covered this distance in seven days, with her father on the back of his bike and also some luggage. I think with such endurance, she has extraordinary physical capacities. We offered her to take tests. to join our national team, “said Federation President Onkar Singh.
“Our students combine sport and schooling”: Jyoti’s future is assured
Flattered by this proposal, the teenager nevertheless set conditions. “She told us that she wanted above all to undertake studies. We assured her that this was no problem, because our students combine sport and schooling in our training centers,” adds Onkar Singh.
Convinced by this generous offer, the young girl planned to go to New Delhi when travel will again be authorized in her country. Jyoti will then take exams. With the strength of her calves and her will, the teenager is moving slowly, but surely, towards a well-deserved future.
The teenager has planned to join the Indian Cycling Federation as soon as the deconfinement in her country. © DOC BBC NEWS