Jyoti Kumari, who cycled from Gurgaon to Dharbhanga in Bihar with her father amid the Covid-19 lockdown, and Rakesh Krishna K, the inventor of a multi-purpose seed-sowing machine, were among the 32 children conferred the Pradhan Mantri Bal Puraskar for their outstanding accomplishments. Her resilience had drawn praise from former US President Trump’s daughter and then senior WH adviser Ivanka, who had termed it a "beautiful feat of endurance and love".
"She might seem like any other girl of her age, but the courage and strength that she displayed by covering 1,200 km on a bicycle, that too with her ailing father on the rear seat, cannot be described in words."
“During the Covid-19 lockdown, she traversed 1,200 km from Sikandarpur, Haryana to Darbhanga, Bihar to reach home," the citation issued for her by the Women and Child Development Ministry said.
Mohammad Shadab, 17, won the award for his excellence in scholastics. The son of a motor mechanic, Shadab from Aligarh, UP, is an Indian Youth Ambassador to the US. "He won a scholarship of $28,000 from the US Dept of State for his brilliant mind and efforts to improve the world and topped his American high school," his citation said. Shadab has served over 200 community service hours and given more than 50 presentations to promote Indian culture and values. He started his own non-profit (Girls, Say YES) to promote women's empowerment.
The youngest awardee this year is Kumari Prasiddhi Singh, a 7-year-old social volunteer from Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu. She has been awarded for her work in social sector.
"She is the founder of Prasiddhi Forest and has been in the India Book of Records for being the youngest fruit forest creator in the country. At a young age, Prasiddhi created 8 fruit forests in govt schools and public places and planted 9,000 trees to feed birds and squirrels and give fresh fruits to everyone," said the citation.
Kumari Venish Keisham, 15, from Imphal West district of Manipur, won the award for her excellence in the field of art and culture.