At 21, Nikita Shukla was a third year college student studying to be a lawyer at the Government Law College in Mumbai, India. But her story was not an ordinary one. The suffering she had faced to study this far was something quite unimaginable.

You see, Nikita is blind. Keeping this in mind, her parents did not wish for her to continue her studies after she had completed high school. When she resisted their attempts to get her married, the blind girl was forced to leave her own house by her parents.

While her friends persuaded her to stay, their small donations helped pay for her accomodation at a hostel. Aided by compassionate professors and small scholarships, Nikita was barely surviving. What was worse, she did not have any money for food and was dependent on 20 free meals provided by the hostel mess. Yes, the college student who was getting 80% in her exams was surviving on less than one meal a day.

Nikita Shukla was overjoyed when she won a prize after calling Mumbai Masala, a show on a local radio channel, Radio City 91.1. It was when she went to the radio station to collect her prize that she got to meet the radio jockey, Sucharita Tyagi.

When she realized the plight of the prize winner in front of her, Sucharita was determined to do more. She took to Twitter and highlighted Nikita's story, asking for help. Sucharita's use of social media for good paid off in spades.

“Not ONE person asked for proof, not ONE person said ‘but what if she runs away with my money?’ No, people just opened their hearts and gave.” 
- Sucharita Tyagi. 

Image Source: @su4ita

Thanks to the donations that poured in from strangers, enough money was raised in no time so that not just that Nikita's tuition and hostel fees but also her entire canteen fees were covered, ensuring the blind lawyer-to-be (who broke down in tears when she realized what had happened) would finally get three whole meals a day.


I got to talking with Sucharita Tyagi.


When Radio jockey Sucharita Tyagi heard the pitiable plight of one of the winners of a contest she had held, she chose to intervene and make a positive impact


I love how so many came forward in such a short time to help Nikita. Did you expect that?


I definitely expected to raise enough money to help Nikita out immediately, to cover her tuition and canteen fee. But I had no idea the campaign will blow up the way it did on twitter. Lakhs and Lakhs just poured in overnight.

Many today are disillusioned seeing the negativity on Twitter and Facebook. Your initiative stood out for me as a rare instance of using it for a selfless positive cause. Do you have any advice for others on making a positive difference on this tricky social media terrain?

You do anything with the honest truth in your heart, people will take note. If you want to make a change, you really have to believe in it. Twitter lets your voice be heard globally, and there is nothing more powerful than that.

You're certainly a Hero of Kindness in this form. Now show us the regular 'everyday human' alter ego of Sucharita Tyagi. What/who are your favourites when it comes to:


    1. Hobbies - Sleeping, eating, reading online (in that order)
    2. Movies - All of them, except horror and gore.
    3. TV shows - Whatever catches my fancy on Netflix to be honest. Currently obsessed with Shark Tank (Super weird I know.)
    4. Books - The Harry Potter series.
    5. Real life Personality - All the friends I've chosen to keep.
    6. Celebrity - All the ladies I follow on twitter. Find out @su4ita
    7. Food - Man I love food ! I can eat all day, everyday. Except pumpkin. I hate pumpkin.

When Radio jockey Sucharita Tyagi heard the pitiable plight of one of the winners of a contest she had held, she chose to intervene and make a positive impact


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To this day, Sucharita Tyagi still stays in touch with Nikita Shukla. You can follow the viral twitter thread that changed Nikita's life here.


Author's note:

This is part of my #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes of Kindness and Compassion.
The list for this year's (2018) Heroes of Kindness can be found here.
Of course, I have been tracking these lovely human beings for years now and have found children as young as six years old and old women in their eighties from across the world who will restore your faith in humanity. You can find the entire list of Real-life Heroes of Kindness and Compassion here.

27 Comments

Wow - what amazing determintation in Nikita to not only fight her disability but her family too. She is truly brave and meeting the RJ was indeed such good fortune. God bless these two souls for they are simply amazing! :-)
Kalpanaa M said…
This story warms the heart. Thank you for it.
Damyanti said…
This is the sort of thing that social media should be used for by influencers. Tyagi is a great example, quite like HONY in terms of fundraising!
Shilpa Garg said…
Such a positive and effective use of social media to help someone. Kudos to Sucharita for her effort and initiative. And wishing Nikita the very best in her life too!
anoop hassan said…
This is the way to use social media rather than spreading hate, politics or RELIGION
Anonymous said…
I think india is a democracy not by the people...for the people....it's only for the political elite.....also the buiness elite....
Arka said…
Thank God for people like her. The way this world is right now, I surely am glad that angels haven't forgotten to look after us.
Zainab Attari said…
This is such an amazing story. I am so glad there are people like Sucharita who raise their voice for right causes, use social media platforms for positive reasons and help the helpless. We need more such people, who use their positions to do something so incredible. An inspiring story yet again, Doc! Thanks for sharing.
Prathima M said…
I wish much more help comes to the budding lawer..great initiative by sucharitha.and roshan sir..I was actually all these days waiting for a story from India ..thanku for bringing up such real life heroes.
vivs said…
Its so motivating and happiness around wen we read these life heros.... esp at a time social media is being used fr negetivity.....
Dr Ismail Z Khan said…
Ms Sucharita''s story highlights two important and relevant points.One is her compassion and the other is proper use of social media.
Hope we have more such humane human beings on Earth.
Pragun said…
Now thats the positive side of social media, great work by sucharita. Wishing a great life & success to nikita. they are the real social heroes.
Vani said…
A heartwarming story indeed... Kudos to Sucharita for using the power of the social media to change somebody's life. It's so refreshing to hear such positive stories amidst the chaos we see on social media today, where people are forever indulged in trolling and mud-slinging.
Neha Sharma said…
So good to see, for a change, social media being put to some good use. This was a really heart-warming story Doc. Thanks for sharing.
Soumya said…
This is what social media is supposed to be used for. Not all the hate and the vitriol. All of us have a lesson here.
Ravish T B said…
blind people suffer a lot and people with sight are blind to it.... thank you for opening the eyes and the heart of these people to the plight of this girl and making her believe that there is still good left in this world.... thank u
Shilpa Gupte said…
This is such a heartwarming story, Roshan!
it's like Paulo Coelho said, " And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
Nikita wanted to follow her dreams. She worked for it and the world helped her -- is helping her -- achieve it!
Beautiful Heart warming story
Ramya Abhinand said…
A heartful story of social media put to positive use. Sucharita has done wonders in transforming Nikita's life.
Such a kind tale once again. The world helps her who helps herself. Hats off to her strength. And Sucharita - more power to her!! May Twitter be a device for more such stories.

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Tina Basu said…
That is the power of media and a kind heart. When used right it can create wonders. Great knowing this story.
Inderpreet Kaur said…
That is a powerful way to help a person. It is so heartning to see the positive power of social media. Glad she could help Nikita.
Excellent series Roshan.
Thanks for sharing this.
Shirley Corder said…
What a wonderful story. Truly heroic. It just shows there are still many great people in the world! S is for Stress and how it helps Improve your life, Improve your mind.
Social media if used the right way can be a very powerful tool for positive change. The stories of this are however less. It's a;ways heartening to read such stories as always :-)

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This is what Social media is for not the negative messages you see everywhere these days. What an awesome story of determination. Nikita was a strong woman. Sucharita-tyagi-will-restore-your-faith.html used her position as an RJ to help Nikita Kudos to her for being so selfless and sensitive
Geethica Mehra said…
The only important quality is the courage within and belief in kindness.When you start working towards a motive you surely reach it.Social media is just the appropriate platform to reach out the world.
Its worrying why parents dont want to support education.Glad someone helped.Twitter is my favourite social channel.