“Nothing can dim the light which shines within” – Anonymous
On this note, we are pleased to introduce to you the latest addition to the IDIA Family – a young, bright and highly inspiring girl! A visually impaired aspiring lawyer, her spirit and attitude towards life and the challenges it throws are worth emulating!
It is in the rarest of rare circumstances that IDIA takes on a scholar mid-way through his/her journey through law school. However, a student as exceptional as her deserves all exceptions to be made for her! Read on to know more …
Nikita Shukla is a third-year law student at Government Law College, Mumbai and has seen her fair share of hurdles in life. Her parents wanted to marry her off right after she finished school. However, Nikita was adamant on pursuing further studies so as to become financially independent and fight her own battles! Sadly, her parents refused to support her decision and she was asked to leave the house. Its been three years since – in this period, she made her way to law school and has been performing exceedingly well! Unfortunately, her family continues to sever ties with her and and she has not had any contact with her parents and her siblings.
She recently won a competition hosted by RJ Sucharita Tyagi on Radio City 91.1 FM, and agreed to participate in one of their live shows. During the show, she stated that her professors and friends had essentially been supporting her through law school. The government hostel where she stays allows 20 free dinners per month and for every other meal the students have to pay extra. This was all she had been surviving on! However, her spirits have not been dampened by any of this. On the contrary, she is very happy and grateful for an amazing set of friends and some really supportive professors who have helped her every step of the way towards achieving her dream. She is afraid that she might let them down and says that they are her real inspiration to continue striving.
While her junior college had an entire computer lab dedicated to students with visual impairments, Nikita says that her college does not have proper facilities to deal with persons with disabilities. For the past few years, she along with her friends and seniors, has been trying to procure funding from college for a braille machine, but has been unsuccessful so far. Despite all these challenges, she is still one of the brightest students in her batch, having scored 80% (a fact she did not divulge but her friends keep pointing it out and flushed with great pride when she finally reluctantly mentioned it!). Her friends have been her support system and her pillars! Her roommates helped her prepare for exams by reading out the course material to her and took care of her scribe requirements. Apart from all this, she is grateful to the college for helping her with everything else – viz. completion of college paper work, submitting applications for various scholarships for blind students etc.
When you ask her about her future plans, she smiles sweetly and says she just wants to keep on studying. Though she is studying law at the moment, she believes that education, in general, empowers you and makes you believe in your power to be able to achieve all that you desire. She finds inspiration in everyone and everything, and looks for ways and means to help other people in any manner – big or small!
An hour with Nikita and her friends was non-stop laughter and fun. They say she is a chatter box and they love her banter. An amazing friend, a brilliant student, and your regular next door girl with an inspiring story of grit, courage and determination behind all the smiles and laughter.
IDIA is proud to have her on board as our scholar! We are very excited to work with her on this inspiring journey and watch her scale newer and greater heights!
Written by Mohona Moparthi, Team Leader, IDIA Mumbai Chapter