Cycling heroine Jyoti Kumari chooses to focus on studies

The 15-year-old wants to complete her matriculation, something that she could not devote time to earlier.

By Utathya Nag ·

A few days after undergoing a mammoth 1,200km cycle journey to ferry her migrant father from Gurugram to home in Bihar, Jyoti Kumari continues to inspire.

The 15-year-old is focused on completing her formal education and entering a university to further her studies.

“Earlier, I could not continue my school education and I was occupied with domestic work, but now I wish to complete my matriculation first,” Jyoti Kumari stated in an interview with The Hindu.

The youngster had travelled to Gurugram a few months back with her mother and brother-in-law to tend to her father Mohan Paswan, who had suffered an accident while driving a rickshaw.

While the other two returned to the village soon, Jyoti Kumari stayed back with her father and when the lockdown in India was extended, the duo had to find their way back home.

“She bought a second-hand bicycle from a neighbour and asked me to sit on it and we set off on our journey on May 10,” a proud Mohan Paswan added in the interview.

An inspiring tale

The 1,200km bicycle journey made news around the world and captured the attention of the Cycling Federation of India (CFI), who offered her a trial in New Delhi.

The 15-year-old had cycled for eight days across the state of Uttar Pradesh, even hitching rides on trucks and tractors in between, and relied on kind people they met along the way for food.

“We’re impressed as well as amazed at Jyoti’s pedalling capacity as she covered a distance of 1,200kms within a week on a bicycle with her father. The CFI has decided to give her a chance to prove her mettle,” CFI Chairman Omkar Singh had said.

However, the trip had sapped the energy out of the youngster. “I feel physically weak now after such a long arduous journey,” she said.