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Free bike a year for life for girl in India who donated to flood victims the money she'd saved to buy herself a bicycle

World's biggest bicycle manufacturer, Hero Cycles, acts after learning of youngster's act of kindness...

A girl in India who donated money she had been saving to buy herself a bike to victims of the devastating floods in Kerala has been told by the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer that she will receive a free bicycle each year of her life from it in recognition of her kindness.

What has been described as the heaviest monsoon in a century has led to more than 350 deaths in the state in south-east India in recent weeks, while 800,000 people are said to have been displaced.

Over the past four years, a young girl called Anupriya living in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu had managed to save a total of 9,000 Rupees (£101), which she planned to spend on a bicycle.

But when she saw the plight of people in Kerala on TV, she decided to donate the money to victims of the flooding.

To put the amount Anupriya donated into context, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has said that people seriously injured in the floods will receive a payment of 50,000 Rupees (£561) from the government.

The story was picked up by a local newspaper and subsequently went viral on social media yesterday.

On Twitter, it was spotted by Indian business Hero Cycles, the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer in terms of numbers of bikes produced, and which promised her a brand new bike for her gesture.

But there was more to come. The company’s chairman and managing director, Pankaj M Munjal, said she would be given a free bicycle for every year for life.

Things have moved quickly since that tweet yesterday, with Anupriya taking delivery of her new bicycle today.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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