18th July, 2017. 5 am.
Shivani is shaken awake. She hates mornings. The schedule for today? Go to the garbage dump on the corner of the road and look for scraps to sell.
25th November, 2017. 7:30 am
Shivani is already awake. Now, mornings aren’t a dreaded time of the day, she doesn’t have to be forced out of her sleep. Mumma enters the room, Shivani jumps out of bed and gets ready for the day. Today, she is going to learn counting with her friends at the Modi Mills Day Care Centre. But first, the didi at the centre will serve a nice healthy meal of porridge, and then its off for a fun day full of learning and games!
Shivani is just one of the lives that Delhi-based NGO Wishes and Blessings has changed. Wishes and Blessings officially started its journey when founder Dr. Geetanjali Chopra inaugurated the organization in 2014. Some people do know that the real journey started much before April 2014. If you are new to the family, welcome! Let’s have a recap of the journey so far.
Wishes and Blessings might have officially started in 2014, but charity work has been a part of Geetanjali’s life from the very start. Every festival or event was celebrated with the children of a visually impaired school, and this tradition was started by her grandfather. She knew very early on that she wanted to work towards bringing positive change into the lives of the underprivileged, but as a 9-year-old, including them in festivities was the only thing she could do.
Geetanjali went on to finish her schooling from Convent of Jesus and Mary, her Bachelors from Lady Shri Ram College, and her Masters, M.Phil. and PhD. from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been a teacher, an artist, a journalist, a published writer, and she has even tried her hand at radio jockeying and acting! As if this isn’t enough, the ‘Dr.’ has nothing to do with medicine; Geetanjali has a PhD., analysing the role international NGOs play in peacebuilding.
Now, as Wishes and Blessings enters it’s fifth year, the NGO covers more than 9 causes and is associated with more than 15 shelters. Among the causes are nutrition, healthcare and infrastructure.
- The Daily Meals Programme is a flagship project that feeds more than 350 homeless people everyday, ensuring three wholesome hot meals a day.
- The Sponsor a Childhood Programme seeks to eradicate poverty through education. The objective is to provide support to underprivileged children until they are able to stand on their own feet. Beneficiaries include underprivileged, visually impaired and special children.
- Under Special Treats donors are invited to celebrate festivals and special events with underprivileged and lesser fortunate children. Sharing the love increases the love!
Mann Ka Tilak, the organization’s first old age home was launched in April 2018, and is meant for the old and abandoned women of Delhi/NCR, and the home for elderly abandoned men is to be launched soon.
The organization started with just one person- the founder, Dr. Geetanjali Chopra- and now has an office full of young and hardworking individuals, field staff and volunteers.
The driving force? The belief that happiness is not just an end goal but also a way to achieve many more goals. Our main goal? To spread smiles and make dreams come true! Come join us, and help us fulfil wishes and receive blessings.