Acts of Courage During the Pandemic

In India, Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old cycled over 700 miles from New Delhi to her family’s village, transporting her father, an injured migrant laborer who could barely walk, on the back of the bicycle.

Jyoti transported her father to his home after Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion citizens to fight the spread of the coronavirus, urging people to distance themselves socially and work from home. The lockdown led to one of the biggest migrations in India’s modern history. Hundreds of thousands of migrant laborers made long journeys to get home, having been rendered homeless and jobless.

So Jyoti told her dad: Let me take you home. He thought the idea was crazy but went along with it. She then jumped on a $20 purple bike bought with the last of their savings. With her dad perched on the rear, she pedaled from the outskirts of New Delhi to their home village, 700 miles away.

“Don’t worry, mummy,” she reassured her mother along the way, using borrowed cellphones. “I will get Papa home good.” Which she did!

What acts of heroism and generosity — big or small — have you seen or heard about or experienced in your community or anywhere else in which someone has helped others during the coronavirus crisis? Could you have done what Jyoti did?

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