Niyati was born to the Sharma’s after a long wait of 7 years. Being the only girl child in a huge joint family, she was pampered by all.
She was bright in studies, good in sports, and exceptionally talented singer.
She stood first in her district in the 12th Board Exams. She made her family proud and happy.
She won the Country Idol singing competition and a world trip.
From the small village girl, she became an Indian heartthrob.
I met her during my recent visit to Mumbai, she was singing some ‘Lata Mangeshkar’ song while rag picking on the platform. I was shocked to see her in that state.
Torn clothes, deteriorated health, pale skin, with lots of dirt on her face. When I approached her, she recognized me and tried to run away, but I caught hold of her.
We sat on a bench on the platform and she started sobbing and speaking.
“Sharad, during my world trip, I started using drugs, and during those high times, I do not remember how many times and with whom, I had sex, forget about using some protection. After coming back to India, my health started deteriorating, my doctor suggested some tests and I was found HIV positive. I do not know, was it the needles or unprotected sex, that made me infected, all I know now is I am HIV positive.”
“After knowing this, my family disowned me; the music company ended its contract. No friend came forward to help me. All my fans disappeared in thin air. I had nowhere to go.”
Thanks to a NGO, which fights for such causes, now Niyati has got a place to live; she has filed a case against the music company and she composes and sings songs about HIV awareness.