Stories

In Memory of a Beloved Sister: Smeeta Souza-Roy


“They had giving hearts,” says Pramila Fernandes of her late sister Smeeta Souza-Roy and Smeeta’s late husband, Himanshu Gopalan. The couple devoted their lives to understanding the world around them and how they could effectively make an impact through service and volunteering. Raised in Mumbai, Smeeta and Himanshu traveled the world, eventually settling in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she practiced as a psychologist and he became a professor of environmental studies. 

Inspired by her father, who started a scholarship fund in India, Smeeta’s gift to Pratham, facilitated by Pramila, aimed to provide educational opportunities for children and women. After extensive research, Pramila made a legacy gift to Pratham because her sister “wanted to support organizations where her donation went directly to providing services for vulnerable populations.” 

According to Pramila, the late couple focused their giving on four specific causes: ​educational opportunities for impoverished children, ​the empowerment of women, the environment, and animals. “Her love for India was always there,” says Pramila. “Once she realized she was not having kids, they started investing and saving, and had a sizable estate to give away. After her death, I helped execute her will and gave money away to 33 charities.”

“They were an inspiration to my family,” recollects Pramila, confident that Smeeta and Himanshu’s service-oriented lives are being honored with integrity. 

Learn more about how you can make a legacy gift.


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