New Delhi, July 4:
A controversy erupted on Friday over the rights of a film on Jyoti Kumari, a 15-year-old girl who cycled from Gurugam to Darbhanga in Bihar , nearly 1145 km, during the coronavirus lockdown, after film maker Vinod Kapri claimed he has already made an advance payment for the rights over a month ago.
Film production venture Wemakefilmz on Friday said it has legally acquired the exclusive motion picture rights for the story.
Four friends, united by passion for films and documentaries, had bagged the rights for the life story of Jyoti. Jyoti will be the protagonist and the project is to set go on floors from August, Shine Krishna, who will be directing the film, had said.
Miraj and Fairoz, working in the Middle East, along with Krishna and Sajith V Nambiar have acquired the rights for the film. They are partners at Wemakefilmz, a nearly two-decade old venture set up by Krishna.
Regarding Kapri’s claim, Krishna said the former’s agreement does not have legal value.
Earlier in the day, Kapri tweeted that as per an agreement on May 27, the rights of the film is with Bhagirathi Films Pvt Ltd (BFPL) and no one else can make the movie.
Jyoti’s father Mohan Paswan has been driving in an e-rickshaw in Gurugram for the past few years. His wife, who has been cooking in anganwadis for eight years and their five children, have been living in Sirauli village in Bihar.
In January, Mohan sustained injuries in an accident. Jyoti went to Delhi in February to take care of him but the duo got stuck when the nationwide lockdown was imposed in March to contain the spread of coronavirus. Staying back in Gurugram became increasingly difficult as Mohan’s landlord started coercing him to pay rent. With no money to pay rent and with the landlord had cut off their electricity connection, Jyoti was left with no option but to head home on cycle.
Jyoti was quoted saying, “I told my father that I would take him home on the cycle, but he did not agree. He repeatedly told me that I will not be able to manage it, I withdrew Rs 1000 from the bank and managed to collect Rs 500 to buy a second-hand cycle. I would ride the bike for more than 50 -60 km every day. Cycling across long bridges was challenging. We would stop at a petrol pump, spend the night there. People offered us food and drink. Whenever we could, we would hitch rides.”
On reaching Darbhanga after the arduous journey, Jyoti was rewarded by the District Magistrate of Darbhanga. DM Thiyagrajan got Jyoti enrolled in class 9 and also gifted her a brand new cycle.
Jyoti’s indomitable spirit made it to international headlines with Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump sharing her story on Twitter.