Cycling from real to reel life: Jyoti Kumari to be protagonist in film

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurugram, June 30

Jyoti Kumari Paswan, the migrant girl who cycled for 1,200 km with her ailing father in pillion from Gurugram to Bihar during the lockdown, will now have her story on celluloid screen.

Jyoti will be playing herself in the film titled “Atmanirbhar”.

The film is being made by Wemakefilmz in Hindi, English and Maithili and will be dubbed into other languages. For the international audience, the title will be “A Journey of a Migrant”. The film will be subtitled in 20 languages.

The film will be shot in locations that were part of Jyoti’s journey from Gurugram to Darbhanga.

Jyoti had become the face of migrant grit during the lockdown as she went on to buy a second-hand cycle with her entire family savings and cycled from Gurugram to her home in Bihar, taking her injured father along.

Amongst her various fans was US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka had praised her calling her journey a “beautiful feat of endurance”. She was also offered a trial chance from the Cycling Federation of India which was impressed by her endurance but she declined, saying that she wanted to study to get a steady job.

“The journey has changed my entire life. When I reached home, I came to know I had become a hero on the internet and people outside India also knew my name. I have no special talent but did what a daughter would do for her father. I am feeling very good about being signed for a movie,” said Paswan.

Jyoti said her father, Mohan Paswan, is an e-rickshaw driver who had met with an accident in March. Her mother was ill so she travelled to Gurugram to look after him.

“Suddenly, the lockdown was announced and we finished all our savings. My father could not earn for the next few months so he could not live here. There was no transport but I had to take him back even if on my shoulders. We pooled all our money and bought a cycle from another migrant and left on an unpredictable journey. There were days when we had only water and no food but the urgency to get back home got me going. I was happy to get back but I had no idea I would ever be this celebrated. Migrants like us show such endurance take such risks all our lives. This is our fate,” says Jyoti.

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