22 September 2016: “Despite of all the odds, I dropped the full scholarships to study MBBS and joined Environmental Science in my undergraduate level. The decision which I made few years back has helped me be what I am today, and I am proud to have taken that decision then” says Ms. Shilshila Acharya, CEO of HCI while telling her story as an environment conservationist at the WWF The Storytellers- Conservation Series.
Brought up in Beni- a small town north-west of Pokhara- Shilshila pursued her higher studies at Kathmandu and Norway. She opted to study environmental science during her undergraduate studies despite being offered a scholarship to study medicine- a highly coveted profession in Nepal. Today, looking back, she realizes that this decision might have been a sign of her first assertion to be in control of her life.
A chance meeting with an elderly stranger at Amsterdem who having heard Shilshila’s life story said, ‘Your life is blessed Shishila. Now it’s time for you to share this blessing to many others who are not as fortunate as you’, changed her life. Despite being a casual conversation, it stuck with her as if she found the very purpose of her life at such a young age.
On her return to Nepal, she began to volunteer with other youth on different social actions. She made many friends who were concerned with the poor state of Nepal. Within months of such random volunteering, she got an opportunity to create an initiative that would help rehabilitate trafficked girls, and prevent trafficking by creating respectable jobs for the disadvantaged young women.
Shilshila, having found something she so much wanted, worked hard to co-found and run ‘Hamri Bahini – The Green Angels’, a Social Enterprise that has already created hundreds of respectable jobs for disadvantaged women since its inception in 2013. Having studied environment, and being a strong believer in the tenets of Sustainable Development, most of the jobs her enterprise creates for the women in Nepal are Green Jobs- jobs that help our environment. As a Convener of the campaign ‘No Thanks I Carry My Own Bag’, she played a leadership role in getting plastic bags banned in Nepal.
She believes in devoting her time, knowledge and skills to convert her passion, as well as that of other youth around her, into effective and concerted action to create social impact. As the CEO of HCI, she guides and helps other young leaders to incubate and sustain social-entrepreneurial initiatives that are geared towards building inclusion and resilience in Nepali society and economy.
Shilshila was invited to The Storytellers as a speaker among four others who have passionately and persistently devoted their lives in environmental conservation in Nepal, where she unveiled her life journey.
The Storytellers Nepal makes effort to bring inspiring stories- be it personal, professional or social- of people who have made significant impact in their own field.