Washington: US President Donald Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump has praised 15-year-old Jyoti Kumari, who cycled down 1200km carrying her ailing father during the nationwide lockdown in India, terming her act as a "beautiful feat of endurance and love".
Stuck in Gurugram in Haryana due to the COVID-19-induced travel restrictions and lockdown, a tenacious Jyoti asked her father to sit on the rear side carrier of her cycle and took him to his native place in Bihar, covering 1200km in seven days.
Ivanka took to Twitter on Friday to highlight the story of the Indian girl, a class eight student, whose journey has become an extensive talking point even on social media where there has been talk about whether she has it in her to pursue cycling as a career.
"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!" Ivanka said in a tweet.
Ivanka, who is advisor to President Trump on job creation, has visited India twice, most recently in February this year along with her father. In 2017, she led the US delegation at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India.
Impressed with the doggedness with which Kumari pedalled her way to Bihar from Gurugram, carrying her ailing father, the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) will invite Kumari to appear for a trial next month, in what could be a life-changing opportunity.
CFI Chairman Onkar Singh recently told PTI that if Kumari passed the trial, she will be selected as a trainee at the state-of-the-art National Cycling Academy at the IGI Stadium complex here. Jyoti's father, Mohan Paswan, an autorickshaw driver in Gurgaon got injured and the lockdown left him without any source of income. He had to return the autorickshaw to the owner.
The father and daughter duo started their journey from Gurgaon on May 10 after buying a cycle with whatever money they had and reached their village on May 16.
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.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 22, 2020
This beautiful feat of endurance & love has captured the imagination of the Indian people and the cycling federation!🇮🇳 https://t.co/uOgXkHzBPz
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Around June 1, a five-minute video of an interview of a woman recorded in the style of an exposé went viral. The woman appears to be an office-bearer and is sitting behind a desk. She says, “These people are terrorists and we are giving them VIP treatment… we are exhausting our resources on them, getting our doctors ill for them…we are using 100 test kits per day on them, if they didn’t exist we wouldn’t need the kits… these people should be hit and kept in solitary confinement… Can’t Yogi ji give an order that state’s resources won’t be used on them.. we are sacrificing Rs 100 crores of the nation for these 20 crores.” The population of Muslims in India is approximately 20 crores.
A mic with the logo of ‘News इंडिया 1’ can be seen in the video. The interviewers behind the camera are trying to gain an official statement from the woman for their news bulletin. As per social media claims, the woman being interviewed is Aarti Lalchandani, the principal of GVSM Medical College, Kanpur.
The social media claims are true. The person in the video is indeed Aarti Lalchandani, the principal of GVSM Medical College in Kanpur. On June 1, several media outlets published a report about the viral video including The Hindu and The Indian Express.
According to The Hindu, “Lalchandani first said that the video was “morphed” and that she did not refer to any community or target Muslims. But in the same breath, she also admitted that she made the comments as a vent during the initial days of the COVID-19 crisis in Kanpur.”
She told both the publications that the local journalist who leaked the video tried to blackmail her and extort administrative favors. However, speaking with Alt News, Lalchandani said that she wasn’t aware of the clip’s existence until it became viral on social media. It is unclear how she could possibly be blackmailed over something that wasn’t in her notice. Moreover, she was unable to provide any evidence of the same.
Omar Rashid, the journalist who wrote the report for The Hindu, tweeted that Lalchandani told the outlet that she had made the comments in anger.
The principal of Kanpur Medical College Arati Lalchandani allegedly calls Tablighi Jamaat members terrorists, says they should be sent to dungeons, jungles & solitary confinement rather than being treated in isolation wards. She told @the_hindu that she made the comment in anger pic.twitter.com/vfM2tVnTaV— Omar Rashid (@omar7rashid) May 31, 2020
In her statement that was sent over WhatsApp, Lalchandani wrote, “THESE ARE NOT MY STATEMENTS GIVEN TO MEDIA but a malicious sting and do not reflect my inner feelings.” She added, “Even a mother in her anger says go to hell to her own children. And then hugs them the next moment. My actions have always spoken louder than words and will continue to do so. I shall continue serving you all and you can always send to me anyone in need. I work 24 hours for you.”
It is pertinent to note that Lalchandani did not apologize for the racist comments.
Therefore the social media claim associated with the video is true. Aarti Lalchandani, the principal of GVSM Medical College in Kanpur, indeed made derogatory remarks against Tablighi Jamaat members and the Muslim community. She said the country should put them behind bars instead of spending money and resources for their treatment.
Here's her Facebook post: