Shiwani V Maya is the founder of Working As Angels(WAA). “Maya” meaning love in Nepali behind her name acts as a stand in to her belief that love comes above all religion. Her personality is a smart blend of kindness with boldness. She aspires to be the master of her own fate and not having the control of anyone over what she does. She is a badass vegan who know what she wants and how she wants it.
What differences have you discovered between our work style and the work style of foreign individual(s)/agency(ies)?
The most noticeable difference is that of their punctuality whereas we here are stuck in maybe I will be there at x time or make out excuses which has now in a way built up our reputation as the foreign people I work with know about our “Nepali Time” and this reputation of not being on time needs to be put down as quick as possible. The another difference is that of emotional connection meaning they have this clear separation of personal and professional life unlike ours where if we work with someone we become emotionally and personally connected to them but in their case as the person working has a professional relationship they are not connected in the emotional and personal way which in my opinion is good in order to be a professional.
Despite having so many NGOs and INGOs, why do you think people are not still reaping the benefits of such organization?
What I believe is when I am helping, I will help you to the extent where you will be capable of taking care of yourself. But what I have seen during my visits to villages is that whenever I conduct a training session people come and take part but they do not implement the lessons learned instead they expect another aid program and then another. The other reason is whenever it comes to organizations of a charitable cause a whole lot of people believe that their is way too much money in the development sector which can be kept for own and see NGOs and INGOs as a money printing machine; I would like to stress that if you are helping someone and are expecting a return you are not being kind, you are doing business and in the cases of charity organizations the willingness to uplift another should come from a pure level; no returns expected.
Do you consider yourself as an activist?
YES. I am associated with the term “ACTIVIST” as I am the type who just does not stare if any wrong doings is happening instead I raise a voice. I not only raise my voice but teach to others as well to have a say and speak up against wrong. Also, if I have learned a thing or two about any social issue I ought to implement my learning or else the knowledge obtained is pointless. I cannot go preaching about equality if I come home and say that “I am on period so I won’t touch this and I won’t touch that”; that’s pure rubbish. Practice what you preach.
What factor(s) has driven you into this field?
It is pure compassion. When I was small I strongly believed that I have to spoon feed every single person but as I grew up I started knowing and realizing that my work is to push others to do more, make them aware of their potential and to teach them how to cast one’s net but it is the person who will have to make their own way.
What is the one thing that you have learned not to do through your past experiences?
Say YES to everything; you should rather learn to be assertive and start saying NO to things that you are not comfortable with. A lot of times the term “yes” can be miscommunicated especially from a girl and you do not want that in any situations.
As a young professional, what challenges have you had or still have to go through?
When I was a bit young, people would not take me seriously; the blend of young, girl and professional was a difficult thing to digest to a lot of people at that time. Another is lack of respect towards a girl space and privacy meaning even if you say it out loud that you don’t need nobody especially “no men” they still push the button and come and nag which is really annoying. Men should start learn to accept no for an answer, period. In situations like that you need to be assertive enough to push the person that you do not want and don’t fret about what “they” will think; as when you say no you do not necessarily owe them any explanations as such.
Any opportunities to work with you in your present or future projects that you would like to share?
Yes, we are open for membership and collaboration for our upcoming projects. If interested please write us at Working As Angel(WAA). We would love to hear from you.
Written by Sagar