Among the many heartwrenching stories of the plight of the migrant workers in India that grabbed eyeballs amid COVID-19 pandemic, the news of 15-year-old Jyoti Kumari cycling from Gurugram to home in Bihar’s Darbhanga, left people pained. While the little one’s story of hardship moved the Internet to tears and empathy as she cycled a distance of 1,200 km during the lockdown, US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump found it “beautiful”. Also Read - As Coronavirus Cases Cross 1.40 Lakh-mark, India Now Among 10 Worst-hit Countries, Surpasses Iran
Sharing a picture of Jyoti with her father on the bicycle, Ivanka tweeted, “15 yr old Jyoti Kumari, carried her wounded father to their home village on the back of her bicycle covering +1,200 km over 7 days. This beautiful feat of endurance & love has captured the imagination of the Indian people and the cycling federation!🇮🇳 (sic).” Also Read - Karan Johar's Two Helpers Test Positive For Coronavirus, Filmmaker And Family Test Negative
Losing their cool over Ivanka glorifying the migrant workers’ poverty and helplessness amid the COVID-19 lockdown, Twitter brutally trolled Ivanka and “fixed” the tweet for her sarcastically. Taking to their respective handles on the micro-blogging site, while one user wrote, “Rich must stop romanticising the poor. Repeat after me. RICH. MUST. STOP. ROMANTICISING. THE. POOR (sic)”, another tweeted, “Seriously????!! Are you this much clueless about the effect of #lockdown in economically weaker nations?? You sound like your father. #IvankaTrump (sic)” and yet another lashed, “So this is the story that #IvankaTrump shared. The worst thing we can do is romanticize poverty and all the evils it brings along with it. This is not endurance, this is majburi @IvankaTrump (sic).”
Check out Twitter’s reaction on Ivanka Trump’s tweet here:
An autorickshaw driver in Gurugram, Jyoti’s father Mohan Paswan got injured and amid the lockdown had to return the autorickshaw to the owner which took a toll on his source of income. Buying a cycle with whatever money they had, the father and daughter duo started their journey on May 10 from Gurugram. Jyoti asked her father to sit on the rear side and cycled a distance of 1200 km in seven days. They reached their hometown in Bihar on May 16 after which her journey has become an extensive talking point on social media.
Soon, the news reached Onkar Singh, Chairman of Cycling Federation of India which is an academy under the aegis of Sports Authority of India and is one of the most advanced facilities in Asia. The Chairman told PTI, “She must have something in her. I think cycling down more than 1200km is not a mean job. She must be having the strength and physical endurance. We want to test it.”
Offering Jyoti a career in cycling since the CFI is always trying to find out similar talent for grooming, Singh shared with the news agency, “We will make her sit on the computerised cycle we have at the academy and see if she satisfies the seven or eight parameters to get selected. After that she can be among the trainees and she will not have to spend anything.”
The chairman had already talked to Jyoti about the same and told her that she will be called to Delhi next month once the lockdown is lifted. He added that all the expenses of her travel, lodging and “if she needs to accompany somebody from home” will be borne by the CFI.