An Indian man has received several offers of help after a video of him running home from work went viral.
The video was shot by filmmaker Vinod Kapri, who offered a lift to the 19-year-old Pradeep Mehra as he ran past his car.
But Mr Mehra turned down the offer, saying he ran around 10km (six miles) every night to keep himself in shape to join the Indian Army.
The video, uploaded on Sunday evening, has more than 6 million views so far.
Mr Mehra was running home on Saturday after a night shift at a McDonald’s outlet in Noida city – on the outskirts of national capital Delhi – when Kapri spotted him.
The filmmaker said he offered the man a lift after seeing him run with a backpack, thinking he might be in trouble.
He shot the video from his car as he slowly drove alongside Mr Mehra, asking him questions to understand why he refused the lift.
“You will fall in love with this child if you listen to his reason,” the director wrote as he shared the video on Twitter.
This is PURE GOLD❤️❤️
नोएडा की सड़क पर कल रात 12 बजे मुझे ये लड़का कंधे पर बैग टांगें बहुत तेज़ दौड़ता नज़र आया
किसी परेशानी में होगा , लिफ़्ट देनी चाहिए
बार बार लिफ़्ट का ऑफ़र किया पर इसने मना कर दिया
वजह सुनेंगे तो आपको इस बच्चे से प्यार हो जाएगा ❤️😊 pic.twitter.com/kjBcLS5CQu
— Vinod Kapri (@vinodkapri) March 20, 2022
Mr Mehra, who lives in Noida with his brother, told Kapri he ran every night after work because he didn’t have time during the day to exercise.
“My routine will be affected if I come with you,” he says, smiling – and without breaking stride – as he refuses Kapri’s offer of a lift.
When Kapri asks him to have dinner with him, Mr Mehra refuses, saying he needed to cook food for himself and his elder brother, who was also working a night shift.
When asked why he didn’t run in the morning, Mr Mehra says he had to wake up early and cook before leaving for work.
His parents, he says, were back home in the northern state of Uttarakhand – his father was looking after his mother, who was ill.
— Vinod Kapri (@vinodkapri) March 21, 2022
An awed Kapri is heard complimenting Mr Mehra’s grit and asking him what he will do if the video goes viral.
“Who’s going to recognise me… If it goes viral, it’s okay, it’s not like I am doing anything wrong,” he replies, laughing.
Mr Mehra didn’t respond to the BBC’s calls and messages. Kapri said he didn’t want to comment.
The video generated thousands of comments from social media users who praised Mr Mehra’s determination.
“The world will know you, Pradeep,” said one Twitter user.
Manish Sisodia, deputy chief minister of Delhi, said he could not stop watching the video.
“Civil servants and politicians may feel small in front of this child’s passion and dedication,” he wrote.
Lieutenant General Satish Dua (Retired) tweeted that he had spoken to a senior Indian Army official about Mr Mehra’s training.
His Josh is commendable, and to help him pass the recruitment tests on his merit, I’ve interacted with Colonel of KUMAON Regiment, Lt Gen Rana Kalita, the Eastern Army Commander. He is doing the needful to train the boy for recruitment into his Regiment.
Jai Hind 🇮🇳 https://t.co/iasbkQvvII
— Lt Gen Satish Dua🇮🇳 (@TheSatishDua) March 21, 2022
A spokesperson for the opposition Samajwadi Party said they were ready to fund Mr Mehra’s education as well as his mother’s hospital bills.
Several celebrities also praised Mr Mehra.
This is my India.. ❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏🇮🇳🇮🇳 https://t.co/7uMtMVfwNI
— Ranganathan Madhavan (@ActorMadhavan) March 21, 2022
Salute to sheer resolve & determination!!! 👏👏👏👏👏🙏
— manoj bajpayee (@BajpayeeManoj) March 21, 2022
Pradeep, Wherever you are – sending lots of love and best wishes! 😍 https://t.co/6yg9qpTpIr
— Kajal Aggarwal (@MsKajalAggarwal) March 21, 2022
Others said that the inspiring video also reflected the “desperation” among India’s young job-seekers.
This video by @vinodkapri is inspiring and worrying: reflects hope and desperation. A young boy willing to run the extra mile to fulfil his dream to join army but will ‘aspirational’ India have space for him?Jobs, jobs, jobs: 3 words should define ‘new’ India goals! Good luck!👍 https://t.co/WRgCko6QD6
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) March 21, 2022
On Sunday night, Kapri returned to the McDonald’s outlet to meet Mr Mehra as he left work.
He said he had been getting a lot of calls from friends and people back home.
“The world bows before hard work,” he said about the tremendous response the video has received.
This time, he decided to skip his daily run and accept Kapri’s offer of a lift home.
“I didn’t want to stop running in between to accept your offer last night,” he said.