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She transports her injured father on a bike for 1000 km

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A 15-year-old girl cycled hundreds of kilometers to bring her injured father back to their home village. Its history has inspired all of India, especially the Indian Cycling Federation.

Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old girl, found herself miles from her village with very little money, no means of transportation, and her father who could barely walk due to an injury. The teenager spent her last savings on a bicycle to bring her father home by carrying it on the luggage rack. She then cycled more than 1,000 kilometers from the outskirts of New Delhi to their home village. The teenager traveled nearly 160 km per day.

As the girl has now returned to her village, she has received a call from the Indian Cycling Federation. Convinced that she has all the assets to become a true champion, Onkar Singh, president of the federation, invited her to New Delhi for a test with the national team. "She has a great talent"said Onkar Singh. "I'm delighted, I really want to go.", said in turn the young Jyoti, still exhausted by her trip.

The Indian Cycling Federation is looking for young talent and sending the best to international competitions such as the Olympic Games. The leaders found the girl thanks to a journalist. Onkar Singh admitted he was overwhelmed by the distance she had pedaled while carrying another person and luggage. The federation plans to bring her to New Delhi in a "comfortable"so that she could pass a series of cycling tests. If Onkar Singh knows that the teenager was helped by trucks during her trip, he said that there was no doubt that she had "notch".

Many dangerous journeys across India

Following the containment instituted on March 25 to contain the coronavirus epidemic, millions of migrant workers and their families found themselves completely ruined and hungry. They then fled the cities where they work day by day to try to reach their villages of origin on foot or by bicycle. During these dangerous journeys, some were victims of train or truck accidents while others simply collapsed while walking along the highway, died of exhaustion.

There are currently believed to be tens of millions of people moving across India. It would then be the largest migration of human beings across the Indian subcontinent since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. "When it becomes a matter of survival, migrant workers try to return home because that is where their real social safety net resides "said Priya Deshingkar, professor of migration and development at the University of Sussex.

In the face of many tragedies and the economic crisis, the story of Jyoti Kumari has moved the whole of India, giving a real ray of hope.

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Video by Clara Poudevigne


by Sarah Chekroun