“I Can’t” – These are the words each one of us can resonate to. The journey from “I Can’t” to “I Can” is the smallest yet the longest for most of us. Geet is a living example of how she traversed from the journey at a young age of 10. She was returning home from a fun-filled family outing, when all of a sudden, their car skid and flipped into a ditch. When she opened her eyes she was surrounded by doctors and nurses, who were shoving all sorts of tubes into her body. When she finally woke up, although the doctors had gone and there were no more tubes, the fact remained that she could no longer use her legs. She was a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair.One moment, she was sleeping in the back seat of her parent’s car, with no worries in the world, and the next moment, when she woke up, there were ambulances all around and doctors told her parents that she would never walk again. She suffered a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to feel or move her legs, I was confined to a wheelchair. At the age of ten,she had to relearn how to live her life, from putting on my socks, to moving about using a wheelchair. At the same time, she learned how to set goals and strive to achieve them. she learned how to never give up. She learned how to believe in herself. She Learned how to believe in “I CAN”. Determined not to let her disability hinder her, she became Student Body President, Spelling Bee Champion and took part in the school play, all while maintaining a straight A average. Since then, she have continued to concentrate on what she can do rather than on what she can’t do, trusting that God will make all things possible.
She loved Dancing since a very young age so she went on to follow her passion. As a teenager, She established the Verdaan Dance Academy, a volunteer organization in the US that teaches children to appreciate the East Indian culture through dance. Many second-generation Indians living in the US have lost touch with their roots and cannot even speak the language. She taught dance, while seated in her wheelchair. She even danced herself on stage in her wheelchair.
Winning a Beauty Pageant is a dream of every girl. But then all of us have self-doubts that we can’t win the beauty pageant because we don’t feel enough. We wish for better eyes, skin, hair or even features. We often tend to have self doubts and we don’t feed our dream with confidence. This is where we should learn from our Superwoman Geet. She never had any self – doubts or overcame them even if she had some at times. When she was 17 years old, she won a beauty pageant, becoming the first person in the world in a wheelchair, to win a pageant against able-bodied individuals. While representing her state Washington, she gained valuable public speaking skills. She also learned how to interact with people of different ages, cultures and social backgrounds.
Not only a Beauty Pageant , she is a volunteer for multiple organizations like Girls Scout, writer , Speaker about awareness and importance of “Seat Belt” , Reporter for India West National Weekly Newspaper, earned Bachelor of Engineering, earned Juris Doctorate degree from one of the top Law School’s in the US. She worked for leading Law firms in US but left the job to become a full-time social worker in India. She runs a small NGO through which they try to help underprivileged children and at-risk youth. They go into the slums and through story-telling, song, dance and drama she tries to teach them positive values and encourage them to dream and succeed in life. Every week she teach several hundred underprivileged children positive values such as ethical behavior, helping others, stranger danger, reporting abuse, etc.
Over the years she have had the privilege of sharing her story, as well as other motivational messages with school children, political figures, business people, religious organizations, hospitals, youth groups and community groups in India, the United States, Canada, England, Indonesia, Singapore and around the world. Most recently she was a TEDx speaker in New Delhi. Watch her TED Talk here
A little over a year ago, she started a motivational Facebook page through which she motivate people world-wide. Over the span of just 6 months, the page’s reach grew to 1.5 million fans world-wide. A few months back she also started producing short motivational videos, recognizing the power of media in conveying life changing messages.
What’s her Dream ? Her Dream is to become India’s first actress in a wheelchair. She went onto acting in school dramas and taking every acting class I could through school and college
After college, I started writing and directing small productions for community events and street drama to perform in market places and slums. There was a temporary time of deep discouragement when her teacher told her that she was not good enough but she persisted. She went ahead and tried for “India’s Cine Stars ki khoj”. To her surprise , she went on clearing Auditions after auditions. As this process continued, her passion for acting was rekindled. She cleared several levels of auditions in Delhi and then traveled to Mumbai twice as well. She made it to the top 75 in the nation of millions and with able-bodied other actors.
Since then, she is determined to pursue my Bollywood dreams. She is open to any form of acting or modeling, be it theater, radio, ad films, short films, talk shows, music videos,serials or movies. She is not only open to Bollywood, but any film industry.And she is overwhelmed by the millions of people from all over the world who are supporting her dream of becoming an actress through her Facebook page. In just one year, more than 2 million people have liked her page and said they are waiting to see her on the silver screen. From this it is clear that the audience has spoken that they are ready, and in fact want, to see persons with disabilities in media. She is the changing face of the media and is leading it from the grassroots level to hopefully Bollywood in future. It’s time that Bollywood should start featuring real life superwoman’s.
Her biggest hurdle in her entire journey was overcoming the stereotypes associated with being a person with a disability. And the biggest stereotype has been, that a person with a disability “can’t” do much of anything. At times, these thoughts would shadow her mind and she would begin to believe these. But whenever she would think, “I can’t,” her family would encourage her to focus on “I can.” And with their support, she have proven over and over again to herself and to those around her that with God’s blessings and belief she can do all things.So, she choose to focus on my abilities and my strengths and capitalize on them.She believes in the power of prayer.She believed that although she couldn’t use her legs anymore, she could still use her arms, her eyes, her ears, her mouth, her smile.She could still use so many things to accomplish her dreams. Instead of thinking I can’t, she believed that with God I can.
Her Superpower is her ability to make people smile.It’s as easy as putting a smile on her face, because automatically, people who see her smiling tend to smile back. She have learned that truly, a smile can make almost any situation better.
Her Dream Superpower is to have the power to heal and not just physical healing. She wishes the power to heal emotions, broken hearts, broken relationships, broken dreams. She wishes the power to heal hatred, fear , unbelief. She wants the power to heal whatever is hurting someone.
Her No Means No moment was when she decided that she will not let negativity consume her. She decided that she will not concentrate on what she has lost but on what she can gain from this life. She said No to Giving up in life and Yes to all her dreams.
Her Mantra for life “ Concentrate on what you can do, rather than on what you can’t and God will make all things possible “
Want to know more about her, follow her or contact her ? Please find the details below.
Twitter & Instagram: @TheOfficialGeet