When charity begins at home, philanthropy becomes a part of the family’s DNA. Dr Geetanjali Chopra is among those fortunate people who imbibe empathy and affection towards humanity, right from her childhood. The young Geetanjali would often accompany her grandfather to a school for visually-impaired children, to celebrate her birthdays and other special days with them. On one such occasion, one little girl tugged her arm and asked, “Mera birthday kab hota hai”? (When is my birthday?). These soft, subtle, yet intriguing words seeped down into her soul and made a permanent impression on her curious mind. That abrupt question soon turned into the mission of Geetanjali’s life, and she decided to serve the underprivileged and people in need. The lady with an empathetic soul realised her dream in 2014 when she founded Wishes and Blessings.
Five years later, Wishes and Blessings has emerged as a unique platform for helping the underprivileged through its dedicated resources, including orphanages, old age homes and shelters for the homeless. Besides, the organisation is quite instrumental and proficient in linking beneficiaries with donors and minimising the gap between the blessed and the unfortunate.
With a mission to spread smiles, promote education, nurture good health, offer support, create opportunities, and provide relief to people in pain and destitute, Wishes and Blessings wants to build a world with equal opportunities where everyone can help each other based on their strengths, desires, and capabilities, and happiness ceases to be a luxury.
Daily Meals Programme: The NGO believes that everyone has the right to three wholesome meals a day. To deal with problems of hunger and nutrition, with the help of donors, it provides three hot and nutritious meals a day to the residents of its shelters.
Birthday Manao: Wishes and Blessings realised early on that many children have never experienced the joy and happiness that comes with celebrating a birthday. The “Birthday Manao” project is one of Wishes and Blessings’ flagship projects, wherein every month, the organisation celebrates the birthdays of visually impaired, homeless, street and HIV+ children by hosting joint birthday parties for those born in the same month. Since its inception in 2014, it has celebrated over 300 such birthdays.
“My goal and philosophy are to spread happiness and make dreams come true for the underprivileged and people with special needs,” – Dr Geetanjali Chopra
Journey to a New Class: It is not enough to send children to school. Everyone loves new things, and it is unfair that these children have to set off on a new adventure with hand-me-downs. To overcome this problem, the NGO launched the ‘Journey to a New Class’ project whereby school-going children are provided with new books, uniforms, bags, bottles, tiffin boxes and stationery items at the start of every academic session. This ensures that they feel at par with their classmates. This project is also an incentive for children to study hard and perform well.
Elderly Care: After three years of operations, Wishes and Blessings realised that a section of the society which needs the most help is the old and the abandoned people. The statistics are shocking and show that there is an extreme shortage of old age homes in the country. There is a need to fill the gap between the required and actual numbers of old age homes and provide the old, abandoned and abused people the love, respect and dignity they deserve in the last stages of their lives. The NGO wants to play an active role to change this grim reality and start a chain of old age homes.
Under this cause, it established its first old age home on April 25, 2018. Called ‘Mann ka Tilak’, the shelter is meant to give a home to abandoned elderly women of Delhi/NCR. Many of these women have been thrown out of their homes by their family have no money or possessions to call their own. These ammas find a new family and a new place to call home at this haven of peace. What makes the Home unique is that all facilities are provided completely free of cost. This is to ensure that these old women live a life of dignity and respect.
The NGO is planning to open about five old age homes across India soon besides adopting many more rain baseras (night shelters) and transforming them into daycares and shelters.
Wishes and Blessings is a registered NGO that works for various causes such as education, hygienic meals, health, and SOS relief across Delhi-NCR. The NGO has 50 full-time employees, over 100 volunteers and numerous goodwill ambassadors spread across the globe who are committed to bringing desired changes in the society. The NGO is presently working on fifteen major projects, including Sponsor a Childhood, Daily Meals Programme, Birthday Manao, Journey to a New Class, and Elderly Care.