When Vichitra Nayyar (1945 - 2010) was doing graduate school studies in English Literature in Kanpur, India, she was the captain of the volleyball, basketball and field hockey teams. Though she was chosen to be on the Indian Olympic women’s field hockey team, she turned it down to move with her husband to Chicago in 1971. She accepted the traditional role of housewife and mother for a few years but then discovered new roles to assume.
Hoping to strengthen the Indian community, Nayyar started an Indian music radio show in 1977. That endeavor proved to be so successful that she moved on to TV. Chitrahar TV, which Nayyar produced and hosted, was the first South Asian TV show in the US and loved by not only Indians but Pakistanis and Bangladeshis as well. Called the “Oprah of the South Asian Community,” Nayyar addressed pertinent topics such as aging, interracial marriage and teen suicide.
Nayyar covered the visits of Indian dignitaries to the US, including the state visits of three Indian prime ministers to Washington, DC. She also was a founding member of the India League of American and Indic Magazine.
Why this stop? The studios of WCIU, which broadcasted Chitrahar TV, were located on the 43rd floor of the Board of Trade building. The walk from that building to the Blue Line LaSalle stop is just two minutes.
Connect — An offshoot from Chitrahar TV is the Chitrahar Cultural Center which offers dance classes for both children and adults.