Cheistha Kochhar, 33, died following a collision involving a lorry in Clerkenwell Road, near the junction with Farringdon Road, that took place shortly before 20:20hrs on Tuesday, 19 March.

Cheistha’s next of kin have been informed and her family has paid tribute. In a statement they said:

“Cheistha’s deep intelligence and passions were belied by her sprightly demeanour and the consummate ease with which she eased people out of their shells to make friends with her. She always had a hug to spare for anyone and she lived her life with the principle that it was more important to be the kindest person in the room, than to be the smartest person in the room. In the short span she had on this planet, she touched tens of thousands of people in extremely meaningful ways and the magnitude of this loss is incomprehensible.”

“Cheistha was born in Bareilly, India in 1990. She graduated high school from Convent of Jesus and Mary, New Delhi. After graduating from Delhi University with BA in Economics and Mathematics in 2008, Cheistha went on to finish the PGP in Liberal Arts as a Young India Fellow from Ashoka University and then did another post-graduation from University of Chicago in International Development and Policy (MAIDP).

“Even as an undergraduate student, Cheistha began working with Center of Civil Society with Dr. Shiela Dixit in New Delhi and later worked with the Government of India in various roles as a founding team member of UIDAI (Aadhar), a fellow with the Ministry of Defence, a Special Consultant with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and as a consultant in the office of the Advisor to the Prime Minister of India.

“She had also started a couple of startups, first as an undergraduate to distribute excess food from college canteens to the needy and later to create opportunities for the unemployed underprivileged section of the New Delhi society. She also worked with McKinsey and University of Chicago and was last worked at Niti Aayog of India (Planning Commission) where she established the National Behavioural Insights Unit of India as a Senior Advisor. All this happened before she turned 32.

“In spite of her experience as a practitioner and an executive, she had the heart of an academician, having worked and collaborated with Nobel laureates, and she finally came to London as a PhD Scholar in LSE. Even though these were early stages of her PhD, she was sure to work on studying and improving collaboration between various pro-social organizations to tackle the grand challenges that countries from the Global South face. She was an ardent patriot and wanted to bring all her expertise back to India to change lives.”

Police continue to appeal for witnesses and any road users with dashcam footage following the collision.

Cheistha was cycling when she was involved in a collision with a refuse lorry – the lorry stopped at the scene and the driver is helping police with their enquiries.

There has been no arrest and enquiries into the circumstances continue.

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or road users who have footage which captured events, are asked to call 101 or 020 8246 9820 @MetCC and quote CAD6903/19Mar.

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