Jharkhand couple who drove 1,200 km to write exam get air tickets for return journey

Dhananjay Kumar and his wife Soni Hembram travelled on a two-wheeler from Ganta Tola village in Godda district of Jharkhand to reach Gwalior, a centre for DEd (Diploma in Education) exam, required to be cleared to opt for teaching jobs.
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A 27-year-old man from Jharkhand, who drove over 1,200 km on a scooter with his pregnant wife riding pillion so that she could appear in an exam for aspiring teachers, got air tickets for their return journey.

The tribal couple, Dhananjay Kumar (27) and his wife Soni Hembram (22), travelled on a two-wheeler from Ganta Tola village in Godda district of Jharkhand to reach Gwalior, a centre for DEd (Diploma in Education) exam, required to be cleared by those wanting to take up teaching jobs.

The wish to see his wife become a schoolteacher inspired Kumar, who studied till Class VIII, to undertake the arduous journey, covering more than 1,200 km across four states, braving rains and bad roads in the midst of COVID-19-enforced lockdown.

Representational image | Pixabay



After the couple's story appeared in media, the Adani Foundation offered them air tickets for their return journey to reach their home in Jharkhand.

"Dhananjay and Soni's marathon travel was a journey of survival, resilience & great optimism. We @AdaniFoundation are humbled to arrange for their comfortable return journey to Godda & thankful to the local media for bringing this inspiring story to light," the Foundation's Chairperson Priti Adani said in a tweet on Saturday.

Dhananjay Kumar on Sunday told PTI that Adani Foundation has provided them with air tickets from Gwalior to Ranchi for September 16.

Since there is no direct flight from Gwalior to Ranchi, we will reach there via Hyderabad, he said, adding that he will reach his home in Godda district by road from Ranchi.

He informed that the foundation will also arrange to send back his scooter, which he used to reach Gwalior, to his home in Jharkhand.

Kumar also said that he has received a phone call from the district administration of Godda (Jharkhand) saying that they will arrange a vehicle for them to reach home from Ranchi.

Meanwhile, Gwalior's district administration has arranged the accommodation for the couple near the examination centre, he informed.

So far, the couple had been living about 15-km away from the centre on rented accommodation.

Kumar said that the district administration has also arranged the health check-up of his pregnant wife and she was found completely healthy.

The couple had mortgaged their jewellery to raise Rs 10,000 to meet their expenses to reach Gwalior.

Dhananjay said that a Mumbai-based girl also deposited Rs 10,000 in his account to take back jewellery which he had mortgaged. Some people from Godda also called him promising to arrange a job for him, he said.

The couple had arrived here on August 30 for DEd exam being conducted by the MP Board of Secondary Education. The examination will continue till September 11.

"We started off on August 28 morning and en route stayed a night each in Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Lucknow to reach Gwalior on our scooter," said Kumar, who was working as a cook with a caterer before he lost his job three months ago because of the lockdown.

Kumar's wife Soni earlier said, "I thought that it won't be possible for me to appear in this examination but after seeing my husband's determination and courage, I got ready for this long journey."

"We faced a lot of trouble due to rains. I got a mild fever en route, but now everything is okay. I will apply for a teaching job in Jharkhand and I am sure I will get selected," Soni, who got married to Kumar in December last year, said.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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