Magic lamps and genies may be fictional, but dreams and wishes are as much a part of reality as anything else. But the bridge between dreaming and turning that dream into reality may not always be impossible to cross, especially if you know the right route to reach it.

Wishes and Blessings is one such organisation in New-Delhi, that is tirelessly working on assisting the privileged to fulfill the dreams of the downtrodden.

As a child Geetanjali Chopra would often accompany her grandfather to a school for visually-impaired children, to celebrate her birthdays or special days with them. On one such occasion, she says, one little girl tugged my arm and asked me: Mera birthday kab hota hai?. Her question echoed in my ears for a long time, and somewhere deep within me I decided that one day I would to do something to address that question, which is common to so many underprivileged children.

And so she did. In 2014, she established an NGO called Wishes and Blessings to inspire and empower dreams. The philosophy behind the organisation is simple, she says, adding, The world is divided into two kinds of people: help seekers and help providers. Unfortunately, these two sets of people seldom meet, resulting in unfulfilled wishes, broken dreams and sadness. Wishes and Blessings is a platform for linking help seekers with help. We work across the spectrum of society surpassing age and gender barriers on diverse causes including education, health, skill development and relief.

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While many incidents and experiences associated with the NGO have touched her heart, there is one specific incident that stands out. Dr. Chopra says, It happened in our old age home for women, Mann Ka Tilak. At the start of our home, we met our first resident, Rukmani Amma. She was howling and crying when her son came to leave her at the old age home. However, within two days we were able to bring smile to her face and everyone formed a special bond with her. Now, she is a part of our family.

Each and every project that Wishes and Blessings has undertaken, she says, has been extremely special and challenging. Every time we begin something new we are intimidated by its magnanimity but as days go by, we are able to achieve the project doesnt look that any longer, says Dr. Chopra.

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Before the NGO even came into being, Dr. Chopra had to face quite a few challenges. I think the biggest difficulty I have faced while setting up and running the NGO has to be with trust issues. I realise that people view NGOs with a lot of scepticism, and hence find it very difficult to trust new initiatives in the social sector. This scepChopra faced many issues in setting up the NGO ticism is rampant both among potential donors as well as beneficiaries. While donors doubt the accountability and transparency of NGOs, beneficiaries often question the intent and nature of aid provided, she says.

Considering the myriad challenges that come with managing an NGO, an average day for Dr. Chopra is like a complete rollercoaster ride. It begins, she says, with a phone call from one of the centres where milk, bread or eggs have not been delivered for the children. This call usually comes around 6:30 to 7 in the morning. On days that I do not receive thiscall, my day starts around 8:30 in the morning. Im in office by 9:30. The working day lasts till about 8:30-9 at night.

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She continues, During the course of the day, a couple of field visits to one or more of the 15 centres we run, meetings for financial assistance and corporate support, team meetings, routine work and a lot of brainstorming is usually all juggled in.

At the end of the day, all she wants is a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine, a heart-to-heart conversation with friends and family and, a few games of Candy Crush just before going to bed.

Wish Geetanjali and her entire team of Wishes and Blessings all the very best for their noble venture. You too can reach out and make a positive impact on society. To know how to contribute, check out their website or write to them at office@wishesandblessings.net. You can also call them at 09873422455. #KhabarLive


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