In May last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, Jyoti Kumari made headlines not just in India, but around the world after a video of her went viral, showing her carrying her ailing father for 1,200 kilometres from Haryana to Bihar’s Darbhanga on a cycle.
Her story was one of the many which highlighted the plight of the millions of migrant workers who were stranded due to the lockdown.
Now the 16-year-old girl is among the thirty-two children to be awarded the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar.
“Congratulation to Bihar, Darbhanga’s Jyoti Kumari for getting Bal Puraskar and warm wishes for her future,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Monday.
“She might seem like any other girl of her age, but the courage and strength that she displayed by covering 1,200 kms on a bicycle, that too with her ailing father on the rear seat, cannot be described in words,” a citation for the award tweeted by PM Modi read.
Kumari had been praised all across the world for her endurance.
After her story went viral, the Cycling Federation of India had invited Jyoti to appear for a trial, which she declined and then said she would prioritise her studies.
In July it was also reported that her story was being made into a film, and the role of the protagonist will be played by Jyoti herself.