Ivanka Trump is being slammed in India for a tweet she shared highlighting Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old teenager who carried her father, Mohan Paswan on the back her of bicycle for 750 miles. Her trip took about a week to complete where she traveled from Gurugram near New Delhi, which is in the northern region of India, to her home in the Darbhanga district. Trump tweeted a photo of the teenager and her father, writing, "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!"
After her post, she drew criticism from people who said she was insensitive to migrant workers who are currently struggling, and on the verge of poverty, due to the lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. "Her poverty & desperation are being glorified as if Jyoti cycled 1,200km 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 as a response to Trump's tweet, according to the Daily Mail. Karti Chidambaram, who is an opposition member of parliament in India echoed that statement saying, "This is not a feat of excellence. It's a feat fuelled by desperation caused due to the callous attitude of the government."
Paswan said he was hesitant at first about his daughter traveling so far alone, but she reassured him of her decision which helped put his mind at ease. "Initially I had doubts because she is just 15, but I was wrong. She asked me to sit on the bicycle and not pay heed to what people would say," he explained. Although several are coming to their defense in spite of Trump's tweet, Kumari chose not to partake in the heated drama and instead said, "I am very happy with the appreciation I am getting from all the corners."
During her trip, the two survived off biscuits and food that different communities provided them with throughout their several stops along the way. Kumari stepped in to help her dad because he was unable to transport himself back home safely as a result of an accident he suffered several months back. Paswan, who is a rickshaw driver, was forced to return the auto vehicle back to its owner, therefore leaving his family without any other transportation outside of a bike. When he was unable to get back, Kumari was left with no choice other than to use her only way of transportation in efforts to keep her family safe.