What is life? A journey of hope…

The world is a mysterious place; everybody has their own stories that take a different path, and most of the time, those stories remain untold. In the journey of sharing success stories of women in Nepal who have made a remarkable impact on the field of technology, Nepali Women in Computing came across the untold story of a young and ambitious girl, Shreeti Shrestha.

Shreeti is a Computer Engineer working as a Full-stack Web Developer at Cotiviti Nepal, one of the leading health care informatics companies in Nepal. She has always been a tech-enthusiast with a primary interest in Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining. Formerly, she was also a part of Dallotech Software Company.

From being a naive child with the aim of being a cartoon to furnishing herself in understanding her capabilities, Shreeti has always focused on her dreams and aspirations. Despite the physical challenges that she has to face due to the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a genetic disorder characterized by weakness and wasting in muscles used for movement, Shreeti has always been rigid to the incredible willpower that she holds. She was diagnosed with SMA in her early infancy, and since then, she has been unable to walk. However, with an elevating maturity, she was able to power herself up with her wings of hope as she started to gain interest in computers and technology.

“Everybody has their own different problems in life, and none of us can run away from it, but in the end, all we want is happiness and happiness can be found as a treasure inside big chunks of problems too. All we have to do is deal with it and move on to reach our goals.”

She completed her primary and secondary level education in Ikeda International School, an institution with very few children. She was admitted there during her early childhood to make sure that she was taken care of appropriately.

“I am so thankful to my school because it was like a home for me, and everyone was a family.”, she says.

She also had to complete her high school education at home because of the major surgery she had back then. However, nothing stopped her from being a rank holder and studying at the most prestigious technical institution of Nepal, Institute of Engineering (IOE), Pulchowk Campus.

I was worried if I’d be able to study in any college after my surgery, but thankfully Nasa International College was helpful enough to let me study from home. Also, it was the teachers there, who motivated me to join IOE. It has always been a roller coaster ride, but even such rides are beautiful if you have supportive hands by your side.”

In her journey of 23 years of life, the only thing that pushed Shreeti to become better and flourish more was her positive mindset. She believes that the ultimate success lies in being a role model and giving the younger generations hope, and at such a young age, she has achieved so much, and her resilience is hope to our younger generations.

“Hope is the biggest attribute of our lives, if we lose hope, we lose everything.”

Shreeti was awarded the Women In Science Award (WISA) 2018 by Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) for her remarkable contributions in the field of STEM. After that, she enrolled herself in promotions and voluntarily works for Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), as the Women In Science Ambassador. She has also been the winner of the Ncell Excellence Award three times.

“Achievements come along by themselves if we are aware of how we should process our passion.”

She believes that dreams and passions are far beyond the level of gender-based biasing. According to her, if someone is capable of fighting for themselves and their goals, nothing can stop them from achieving what they deserve, regardless of who they are, guy or girl.

“Success is the same for all if we know how to be passionate.”

Shreeti advocates gender equality not just by speaking but by leading as an example. Being in an engineering college, she has closely witnessed the groupism caused by gender-based judgments, but she was always amongst the fighters who jumped into merging themselves to both sides.

“I think girls need to feel strong to be strong because we have to face challenges wherever we go. It is better that we ignore the negativity around us and always focus on the brighter side, and that is by believing in ourselves.”

She is also looking forward to getting a Master’s Degree abroad. Although she requires an accessible environment for her work and studies, Shreeti has never stopped living her dreams. She strongly believes in going with the flow and accepting every moment coming forth. She has carried herself as an independent woman who wants to gather experiences nationally and internationally to eventually work for the betterment of her country, Nepal, especially in the field of technical-entrepreneurship.

“My parents have given their life for me, and I think I am responsible for returning all the love and support. The same goes for my country, I have an identity associated with it, and it is my responsibility to maintain its prestige. This sense of responsibility is what keeps me going even at times when I feel like giving up. My identity and my family are the biggest motivation of all time.”

Shreeti Shrestha leads as an example for so many girls all around the world. It is amazing how she has molded herself into such a strong personality, mentally and emotionally, irrespective of all the physical challenges that she has to face in every other doorstep. She truly stands as an example of a voyager; who is leading the journey of hope to reach her destination in life ultimately.

This story was written by Ojashwi Sharma, a member of Nepali Women in Computing.