PATNA: Amid myriad tales of miseries, hers was a story of extraordinary grit. Jyoti Paswan, 17, still shudders when she hears the word ‘lockdown’. But her act of courage of cycling over 1,200 km carrying her ailing father from Gurugram to home in Bihar’s Darbhanga district on May 16 earned her worldwide acclaim and a lot of help that has changed her life, giving hope of a brighter future.
Thanks to the financial aid that poured in, the poverty-stricken Dalit family her father is still unemployed now lives a pucca house with various facilities. Once forced to drop out due to poverty, Jyoti was enrolled in school again by the district administration and gave her Class X exam this year. She hopes to study further and become “well-educated and independent”.
A recipient of the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puruskar for her determination and bravery, Jyoti says it was a golden moment for her when PM Narendra Modi called out her name. However, she still says what she did was a compulsion and wishes that “no one else ever faces” such a situation.