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Rain and pothole roads were no deterrent to a Jharkhand man who rode a scooter for over 1,200 km with his pregnant pillion wife so she could show up for a teacher-training exam here in Madhya Pradesh.

The tribal couple Dhananjay Kumar (27) and his wife Soni Hembram (22) rode a two-wheeler from the village of Ganta Tola in the Godda district in Jharkhand to Gwalior, a center for the DEd exam (Diploma in Education) to be cleared by those who Want to take up teaching activities.

The desire to make his wife a schoolteacher inspired Kumar to embark on an arduous journey that crossed more than 1,200 km through four states, braving rain and bad roads despite the lockdown enforced by COVID-19.

With trains, buses and other modes of transport unavailable, we decided to cross the ride on our two-wheeler by road, Kumar told PTI on Friday.

My pregnant wife was initially reluctant to make this arduous journey. But after seeing my determination, she consented to this long journey, he said.

The couple came here on August 30 for the DEd exam held by the MP Board of Secondary Education. The exam will continue until September 11th.

When a video of the couple and their trip, recorded by some newspapers, went viral on social media, the county government stepped in to help them.

If I had rented a taxi to get to Gwalior it would have cost Rs 30,000 which was a huge amount for me. Whatever small jewelry we have, we mortgaged it to raise Rs 10,000.

“So far we’ve spent Rs 5,000 on our one-way trip and on a room that we rented here in Deendayal Nagar,” said Kumar, who studied through grade 8.

We started on the morning of August 28 and spent one night each in Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Lucknow to reach Gwalior on our scooter, said Kumar, who worked as a cook for a caterer before losing his job due to lockdown three months ago .

I used to think that I would not be able to take this exam, but after seeing my husband’s determination and courage, I got ready for this long journey.

“We had big problems because of the rain. I had a slight fever along the way, but everything is fine now. I will apply for an apprenticeship in Jharkhand and I am sure that I will be selected, said Soni, who married Kumar in December last year.

Gwalior collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh took note of the couple’s difficulties and directed the district empowerment officer, Shaleen Sharma, to look after them and provided 5,000 rupees for immediate assistance.

Sharma said: The administration will also pay for their rent and make arrangements for their food. We have also offered to send them back safely to their village.

Since the woman is pregnant, she will be given special attention and her medical exam and ultrasound will be done on Sunday, he added.

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