Chandigarh’s Pride Neeti Goel Gets Int’l Recognition For Social Service


Whenever somebody from our town achieves something  at national or international level, it’s a matter of pride for everybody.  Restaurateur Neeti Goel who hails from Chandigarh but lives in Mumbai recently made the city proud as she joined the elite group of top 20 women in the world. She received the Women Empowerment Principal Leadership Award 2023 in Washington on International Women’s Day (March 8) and also Top 20 Global Women of Excellence 2023 in Thailand in February this year.

Neeti Goel Receive an Award

Neeti Goel who has studied in Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh, went on to do her graduation from MCM DAV College. She is the daughter of well-known industrialist Late SK Gupta and her mother lives in Sector 4, Chandigarh. “My heart lives in Chandigarh. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful city with fresh air, cleanliness, gardens while Mumbai is super crowded,” she says, speaking to CityWoofer from Mumbai.

Neeti runs many restaurants – Keiba, Ostad, Madras Diaries, House of CO and Amore Villas Alibaug restaurant chain in Mumbai, while her husband runs his own business. Both her children study abroad.

Neeti Goel with Sonu sood

Her association with Sonu Sood is well known since the Covid lockdown when both came together to help anybody and everybody in need. Their friendship goes back to their families who were great friends, they grew up together catching up sometimes with Sonu growing up in Moga and Neeti Goel in Chandigarh. “I was studying in Chandigarh, he went to Nagpur for his studies. He entered Bollywood while I got married in Mumbai but its during Covid, our bond grew deeper. “I was working on my own through my restaurant on ‘Khana Chahihye’ intitative to those whom we could connect to physically during the initial phase of Covid, then Sonu pitched in with other things and it just got bigger and better,” she says.

Chandigarh Based Neeti Goel

Then started the ‘Ghar Bhejo’ (send them to their home) initiative through which they managed to send more than 1.5 lakh migrant workers safely to their homes through buses, trains and even aeroplanes. “While we were distributing food to the needy during Covid, they expressed their desire to go home. We didn’t know how we would do it, they were also apprehensive, but we started working on it. When a lot of people sought help, we started arranging for buses, special trains with the help of necessary government approvals,” she says remniscing the Covid days.

“With the huge rush of help-seekers we started doing it online. The first day, the website crashed with 50,000 calls on Day 1. An accomplished  website developer then chipped in and created a software, volunteers joined in, and this is how the small intiatives turned into a big movement,” she adds.

Did the family resent working long hours extending late into the night during Covid? “ Initally everybody was concerned with old in-laws and young children at home prone to catching Covid with me out the whole day, but slowly seeing the volume of our work, everybody relented and infact got involved themselves too,” she says.

“At present, we have over 600 volunteers across the country and now we are starting highways on dhabas and projects for rural women in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh,” she says talking about her current projects.

What keeps her on her toes, with such huge responsibilities strewn across the country. “A woman is a full circle within herself.  She just has to nurture, trust and unleash her power. Some very intelligent women are out there not being able to deliver to their full capacity not knowing where and how to start. It’s just a matter of a jumpstart and things keep falling into place automatically,” she says.

How does she feel carrying so much of personal and social responsibility on her young head, “A sound and peaceful sleep after I have delivered the day’s work is the biggest blessing and stress-buster which readies me up for the next morning,” says the soft-spoken, humble and calm Samaritan.

Helping Humanity 

The ‘Khana Chahiye’ project which started with 1200 meals a day during pandemic now stands at around 80 lakh meals a day. From distributing 50,000 sanitary pads among sex workers of Kamathipura in Mumbai to rescuing 70,000 people stuck in cyclones to aiding 32 orphanages and 800 sex workers, getting awards is nothing new to her having received more than 100 awards and honours post–Covid, her aim is to  be useful.


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