Geeta Muchhala

Where there is a will, there is a way!

Geeta learnt in life is that age is no bar when it comes to fulfilling your dreams. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Chapter 1: Childhood and family
My childhood dream was to serve in India’s villages as a doctor. I had been profoundly impacted by visits to my cousins’ homes in villages. Seeing the poor health and hygiene conditions of the villagers evoked a deep sympathy in me, and a desire to study medicine. I was a bright student and got admitted to medical programmes. However, due to unfavourable circumstances ended up getting a bachelor of science in microbiology. Soon after, I got married, had kids and channelled my love for education and learning into raising them in a very healthy manner.

Chapter 2: Starting my life
When my children went to college (IIT Bombay and Harvard), I also started studying (for an interior design certification). At the age of 44, I started an independent practice, ran it for 10 years and enjoyed the financial independence and my work. Then In 2013, I had a stark moment of realization. I had a major health setback - I was not able to recover from a simple hysterectomy for months together. I realized that life is really short, and so before it was too late, I decided to fulfil my dreams.

Chapter 3: Following my passion
I decided to pursue my dream to work in the villages of India. I joined an NGO and worked for the development of 12 Zilla Parishad (Z.P.) schools in Dahanu. Under my leadership, we adopted seven more schools and the NGO grew manyfold. I realized that I can bring much more impact with the vision and execution plan I had, and so I decided to start my own NGO.

Chapter 4: Achieving my potential
With the support of my husband and children, I started Roshni Foundation and Charitable Trust in April 2016. I adopted eight Z.P. schools and built a dedicated team of eight members. We planned several projects, and needed donors. After much hustling, one elderly gentleman promised to help us with a very large contribution. However, the day I was going to collect the cheque, he died! I was left clueless and extremely stressed. I changed my plans - I worked 18 hours a day to design impactful projects which needed less funds. My team helped in arranging donations from known circles. Slowly and steadily, we built a brand for Roshni and that helped us meet our goals. Within six months, we adopted three new schools.

Today, Roshni is delivering on its vision, creating massive impact and is supported by large corporate donors. We partner with education departments, Maharashtra's forest department, Indian Railways, etc. and are frequently covered in the media coverage.

What I've learnt in life is that age is no bar when it comes to fulfilling your dreams. Where there is a will, there is a way.

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