Priyanka promises help to girl who cycled back with her injured dad from Gurgaon to Bihar during last year's lockdown
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has offered to help Jyoti Kumari, who had cycled back with her injured father from Gurgaon to their village in Bihar, around 1,200km away, during the lockdown in May last year, so that she can continue her studies and her passion of cycling.
The Congress leader called up Jyoti, 16, a resident of Sirhulli village in Darbhanga district of Bihar, on Thursday to console her on her father’s demise and asked her not to worry about how her family will survive in the absence of the sole bread-earner. Jyoti’s father Mohan Paswan passed away on Monday.
Jyoti had shot to international fame after she carried her father, who had fractured his leg while working as an e-rickshaw driver, on a bicycle from Gurgaon Haryana to her village during the Covid-induced lockdown in May 2020.
Jyoti’s feat attracted the attention of the Cycle Federation of India (CFI), which wanted to groom her as a racer. She was also awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar.
Priyanka contacted Jyoti through local Congress leader Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani.
“I told Priyanka Didi about my dreams and the things I was planning to do and how they were dashed due to my father’s death as I have now to think of my two brothers, sister and mother.
She asked me not to worry till she is there and promised to bear the expenses. I think I will be able to continue with my studies,” Jyoti told mediapersons.
Though Jyoti did not demand anything over phone, she did express a desire to meet Priyanka, who agreed to the request after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
“Priyanka Didi asked me to inform whenever I need anything. I was very worried after my father’s death, but her words have come as a huge relief,” Jyoti added.
Mashkoor and other local Congress leaders distributed soaps, masks and medicines in Jyoti’s village on Thursday. He also handed her a condolence letter sent by Priyanka.
“Priyanka ji herself spoke to Jyoti and we handed over the condolence letter that she wrote. She has promised to bear the expenses. Apart from this, our entire party is ready to help Jyoti whenever she needs any assistance. We will take her (Jyoti) to Delhi to meet Priyanka ji as soon as the Covid pandemic subsides,” Mashkoor said.
The country had witnessed a mass exodus of several lakh migrant workers from different parts of the country to Bihar during the lockdown last year in an effort to escape hunger and penury with the central and state governments accused of faulty planning and arrangements and entrepreneurs, industrialists and landlords charged with mercilessness.