Bihar schoolgirl Jyoti Kumari went viral last year after she cycled 1200 km with her injured father from New Delhi to Darbhanga. Jyoti was 15 at the time. While the story inspired thousands and also highlighted the ravaging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on migrant workers across India, Jyoti’s father Mohan Paswan passed away earlier in the week. According to reports on Monday, the man suffered from a heart attack.
News of the death was confirmed by Darbhanga DM Dr SM Tyagarajan. The DM’s office also notified the BDO of Singhbara, Jyoti’s block and asked them to provide care and assistance to the bereaved family in Sirhulli village.
With her parents rendered jobless and penniless because of the extended COVID-19 lockdown, 15-year-old Jyoti became a household name after she was was forced to ferry her father who was unable to walk properly after surgery to his left knee following an accident in January last year. With just over Rs 600 in their savings, Jyoti decided to take matters in her own hands and cycle cross country with her father to reach Gurugram in order to provide treatment to her injured father.
Since her story went viral, Jyoti has been flooded with offers of help and benevolence. The Cycling Foundation of India (CFI) offered to take her up for trials once she passed her matriculation examinations. In May 2020, Super 30 founder Anand Kumar also offered free coaching to Jyoti to help her for the IIT-JEE entrance exam.
She was even offered a fil deal for a film, tentatively titled ‘Atmanirbhar’, depicting the story of Jyoti and her father’s journey on the bicycle. Jyoti is also slated to be presented with the Prime Minister’s National Children’s Award 2021.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Bihar’s former chief minister Rabri Devi too extended a helping hand and offered to sponsor Jyoti’s education and wedding, according to reports. Rabri Devi had even offered job to her father as well.