US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump’s praise of an Indian teenager’s bicycle ride home is drawing criticism in India for being insensitive to the plight of migrant workers struggling in a lockdown.(Bloomberg)
US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump’s praise of an Indian teenager’s bicycle ride home is drawing criticism in India for being insensitive to the plight of migrant workers struggling in a lockdown.(Bloomberg)

Ivanka Trump under fire for tweet on migrants

“15-year-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, daughter of President Donald Trump, tweeted Friday.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HTC and agencies, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2020 04:12 PM IST

US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump’s praise of an Indian teenager’s bicycle ride home is drawing criticism in India for being insensitive to the plight of migrant workers struggling in a lockdown.

The girl carried her father on the back of her bicycle for about a week for 1,200 km, the two said on Saturday, one of the many out-of-work migrant families leaving big cities for their homes in other parts of India because the shutdown has sapped their savings.

“15-year-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, daughter of President Donald Trump, tweeted Friday.

 Also Watch | Bihar girl who carried father on cycle for 1200 km, gets a call for trials

India’s cycling federation, impressed with her endurance, has invited her for trials and said it could groom her into a cyclist, local media reported.

But opposition leaders said Jyoti’s desperate journey home because of a crippling transport shutdown was hardly something to celebrate.

“Her poverty & desperation are being glorified as if Jyoti cycled 1,200 KM for the thrill of it. Government failed her, that’s hardly something to trumpet as an achievement,” Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, tweeted in response to Ivanka’s message.

According to relatives, Jyoti had to drop out of school due to financial crisis a few years ago.

Darbhanga programme officer Sanjay Kumar Deo Kanhaiya, in Bihar, said on Saturday that Jyoti has been granted admission in class 9 at the government school in Singhwara block.

The education department also gifted her a brand new cycle, along with a school dress, shoes, text books and stationary items on Saturday.

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