Ta says he was compelled to knock at the doors of the media, only after he was snubbed by influential people. Pic courtesy- Sanjit Kundu

news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30
Vinita Deshmukh| The News Minute| June 22, 2014| 12. 55 pm IST The Mid-Day story, uploaded on NDTV website on Saturday, June 21, on Mumbai’s Bhiwandi based, slum dweller twins - Ram and Shyam Yadav - who have passed their IIT-JEE exams with flying colours with rankings of 267 and 1,816 respectively, has had a whopping 39 lakh hits until this morning of June 22. The otherwise untold story of Ram and Shyam’s incredible performance in the country’s most competitive entrance examination, the passing of which is a herculean task, even for a child who has a high IQ and resides in a well-to-do and caring environment, would have probably never surfaced. It was because of seasoned journalist, Vidyut Kumar Ta, who now owns a Digital Media Company under which he creates multi-lingual News APPS and uses social media to highlight unique success stories that he stumbled upon this sensational feat of the twins. He decided to tell the story, but not before tapping for financial help, in order that the twins could pursue their dream of being IIT graduates. In fact, he did not want the attention of media, but wanted to play the role of a silent, Good Samaritan.  He continues to request me not to highlight him, but to amplify the story of the twins who need colossal support to achieve their dreams. At the basic he says, they need Rs.5 lakh only on IIT college fees between both of them, annually. Ta says he was compelled to knock at the doors of the media, only after he was snubbed by influential people who demanded their slice of `camera, lights and media publicity’ in return for a philanthropic hand to Ram and Shyam. After three to four days of the same disgusting responses of potential donors who turned out to be publicity-hounds, he turned to his media friends in leading newspapers and television, who all jumped at this story which unarguably would be any journalists’ delight. As part of steering a social media campaign for IIT Powai, Ta happened to go through the list of candidates who passed the IIT-JEE entrance examination this year. During the process, he was informed about the Yadav twins. Selected for the tutorial coaching of a particular tutorial academy, after they passed the eligibility test, the academy, provided them 100% scholarship. The fees came from the teachers of the academy who pooled in the money for this talented duo. Ta decided to meet these 18 year olds who perhaps were unaware of their own feat. When he trudged into the Bhiwandi slums, notorious for untoward elements, he walked through the choked gallis and stench of open gutters and hostile looks, for two and a half hours, before he reached the Yadav home. Says he, ``the 8x10 feet room bordered on both sides by open drainages, houses seven members of the Yadav family. The father’s response of Ta’s question as to how does he feel about his sons’ success was met with ``haa, kuch exam mein pass ho gaye.’’  While that was Ta’s first shock, he was stunned when he asked Ram and Shyam as to what did they want to become in life and they waxed eloquent about astrophysics, quantum gravity and space medicine. How did they get this knowledge when they do not even have a TV at home and they live in an environment which is so intimidating? They said they googled in the night from their father’s mobile, after he came back from work. They told him they also read books and newspaper articles that their elder brother Anil, a B Tech (mechanical) graduate, brought from his library. While their father earns about Rs.9,000 monthly as a bus driver, the eldest brother, Luvkush sacrificed his education to support his brothers to get educated. He brings in around Rs.8,000 per month for the family. Vidyut Kumar Ta says their mother first cried with joy when ABP TV channel came to do a story on her twin sons, for it is then that she understood that they had indeed achieved something big. Ta is distressed that sometimes, he is taken to pursue this noble, philanthropic campaign as a commercial PR assignment. ``I tell them to go and meet the brothers at their home to know if they can afford any professional help. In fact, they have been intimidated with relentless phone calls since the last two days, something which they are not used to. We need to protect them from so much media attention and so they would be staying in an undisclosed place, later today.’’  That, they have had enough is reflected through the no-reply that this writer got when she dialled their numbers and no reciprocation from an sms that she had sent. The writer respects this privacy as too much of media attention may divert their focus in life. However, Ta says, for the sake of helping hands, so crucial to their academic future, we need to write the story, without disturbing them. Indeed, media has done a splendid job in taking the story to the millions of citizens across the country. Now, the people of this country need to put their best foot forward to support, the best that they can. For, this is a story of how adversity brings out the best in you. A true inspiration, for generations to come. Thank you, Ta.

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