When charity begins at home, philanthropy becomes a part of the family’s DNA. Dr. Geetanjali Chopra is among those fortunate people who imbibed empathy and affection towards humanity, right from 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 realized her dream in 2014, when she founded ‘Wishes and Blessings.’
Launched in the year 2014 by Dr. Geetanjali Chopra, an academician, researcher, columnist, and philanthropist, Wishes and Blessings is a platform for connecting donors with beneficiaries, with the aim of spreading happiness and making dreams come true. The philosophy behind the enterprise is simple – many of us have unfulfilled wishes while some of us are more blessed and can help others fulfil their wishes; in return of which we receive blessings. Hence the name, ‘Wishes and Blessings’.
The NGO started by working with visually impaired children and soon it expanded to include orphanages, old age homes and shelters for the homeless. Presently, the NGO works across age, gender, economic and social barriers and addresses more than nine pressing issues which include education, food, infrastructure, relief, skill development and health. The NGO currently has more than 16 projects dedicated to aiding the underprivileged, fulfilling the ultimate goal of spreading happiness!
Over the last 6 years, Wishes and Blessings has been able to reach out to more than 2,00,000 people and hopes to reach out to many more in the near future. Some of their flagship projects are mentioned below.
- COVID Relief
Wishes and Blessings has been a COVID Warrior since the first day of lockdown. On March 25, 2020, the NGO launched COVID Relief Project, which aims at aiding the homeless, daily wagers and underprivileged people affected by the lockdown and Covid-19 crisis. The project covers three verticals- shelter, hygiene and nutrition. The organisation had converted its day care centres into full time shelter homes in order to provide shelter to the homeless. All beneficiaries were provided with hygiene essentials to ensure that they were well protected from the virus.
A larger part of the project involved serving cooked food and distributing ration kits to the needy. The organisation started by serving meals to over 9,000 homeless people across Delhi/NCR in the first week of the lockdown and expanded since then. At its peak, the project was serving 45,000 meals/day and distributing ration kits to over 8,000 families across 7 states– Assam, Delhi, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
In addition, the organisation ran, and continues to run, Wishes and Blessings Relief Vans, which travel across Delhi/NCR to distribute aid in remote parts of Delhi NCR. Supplies include hygiene kits, ration and other essentials.
The Wishes and Blessings Ambulances were launched in July 2020, wherein transportation and medical facilities are being provided to underprivileged patients. The teams also execute tests in containment zones.
- SOS Relief
Wishes and Blessings is committed to providing immediate as well as long term relief to victims of both man-made as well as natural disasters. In the past, the organisation has provided relief essentials to people in Bihar, Nepal, Kerala, and Assam. Currently, under Phase II of #OperationMilijuli, the organisation is providing support to victims of the floods in Assam.
In addition, each year during the harsh winter months, the organisation executes relief under project 10Fridays~10Drives, wherein each Friday from December to February, the team heads out to distribute things that provide warmth including blankets, sweaters, mufflers, socks, gloves and even food. On average, each year the organisation provides support to over 3,000 underprivileged and homeless people.
- Daily Meals Programme
Under this programme, underprivileged and homeless children, women, men and elderly are fed 3 hot and nutritious meals a day, thus preventing them from resorting to petty theft and begging to fill their stomachs. The programme was launched in 2015 by serving food to 60 destitute children and women and has grown since then. In Phase XX (Sep-Nov 2020), the organization will be serving 3 meals/day to 1,000 underprivileged children, women, men and elderly across Delhi/NCR.
- Sponsor a Childhood
Wishes and Blessings provides the opportunity to make a valuable difference in the lives of underprivileged children who have been denied the most basic right, the Right to Education. Under this programme, donors are invited to become relatives of differently abled, underprivileged, HIV+ and orphaned children, and sponsor the education of these children to build stable and secure futures for themselves. Currently, over 150 children are being supported.
- Elderly Care
The cause came into existence in the year 2018 with opening up of the first old age home by Wishes and Blessings, called ‘Mann ka Tilak’. The shelter is meant to give a home to abandoned elderly men and women of Delhi/NCR. The NGO provides all the facilities, at the old age home, completely free of cost. Till date, the organisation has reached out to over 60 potential beneficiaries, many of whom have been rehabilitated with their families.
Giving meaning to the lives of many:
- Accessible Education – 5,000+ children
- Healthier Lives – 2,000 beneficiaries
- Food For All – 16,25,000+ meals
- Fulfil dreams of education & homes – 5,000+
- Beneficial associations – 15+
- SOS Relief – 1,00,000+ beneficiaries
- Treats, festive celebrations & excursions for 50,000+ lesser-privileged
- Vocational training & skill enhancement – 2,500+ beneficiaries