The Social Development sector bridges actions with intentions, but unfortunately, it is one of the most overlooked sectors. It is a selfless field that uplifts the weaker sections of society by making resources available and accessible. Non-Government Organizations act as working units of the same and aim to eradicate social evils, according to their aims and visions. Despite such humanitarian objectives, the sector is often not considered as the primary professional choice by many. Dr. Geetanjali Chopra, an academician, researcher, columnist, and philanthropist, embarked on such an atypical journey in 2014. Dr. Chopra pursued her education in the field of Journalism and International Relations and has over a decade of experience in research and academics. Social Work was nowhere seen on her professional resume till the day she decided to give everything up and undertake the journey of spreading smiles. Purpose and dedication are the stepping stones for achieving any milestone. An astute vision and insightful moves are fundamental to achieving anything in life- Geetanjali’s story is a living testimony of the same.
In her aim to make happiness accessibly by all, to bridge the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, Geetanjali established her NGO, “Wishes and Blessings” in 2014 – a decision taken completely from her heart, at the cost of leaving a successful career and raised eyebrows from loved ones. She faced a myriad of challenges in her journey- a woman on a mission to spread happiness in society with no professional experience in Social Work was a big boulder in her initial years. However, she learned everything on the field and faced and overcame all obstacles in her path. Nobody is a born philanthropist. Our life experiences shape our journey. Geetanjali faced a similar life-changing experience when few visually impaired children surprised her by requesting to play Holi. While she could not put the two worlds together- that of the visual festival of Holi and the colorless world inhabited by the visually impaired, she nevertheless fulfilled their wish. Geetanjali’s satisfaction and contentment experienced in seeing the merry faces of the children playing the festival of colors stayed with her forever. This experience changed her life, and Dr. Chopra never looked back.
The NGO started by collaborating with two organizations, and today, they work with over 15 like-minded organizations, across a variety of social causes in 5 states of India – from sponsoring the education of children in need, providing relief in SOS situations, feeding thousands of hungry people every day, rescuing abandoned elderly, and more. In her career as a Social Worker, Geetanjali has garnered and fostered the trust of her donors and volunteers over the years. With transparency and accountability imbibed in her organization’s value system, Wishes and Blessings have generated innumerable success stories, from the worlds of shattered hopes and dingy futures.
Dr. Chopra is an inspiration for others in the social development sphere, establishing the fact that no ambition is difficult to achieve if you are dedicated enough and work towards it with full determination. What started as an idea to spread smiles from personal experiences is today a fully-fledged organization that serves humanity. Dr. Chopra is truly a powerful, change-making force in the Social Development Sector. She firmly believes in balancing idealism with practicality, by listening to her heart but taking her brain along. While there always will be obstacles in the way, her sole motto will always be to transform tears into smiles. She has been successful in aiding thousands of underprivileged people and looks forward to increasing her organization’s reach in the years to come.