Why did first woman engineer of nepal become an Ananda Margi-min
When she passed out from Jadavpur University, India in 1966, Shanti Malla had crossed an important milestone not only for herself but also for her country – she became the first Woman Engineer (Civil) of Nepal. In fact, she was the only woman among 124 students in her batch. She continued to remain the only woman engineer of Nepal for next seven years.
After becoming an engineer, she spent most of her professional life as an engineer at the Department of Housing. Despite getting limited opportunities, Shanti did most of her opportunities whenever she got one. She did a brief stint at the Gandaki Anchal Agricultural Development Project for two and a half years, based in Tanahu; she was also involved in the Singha Durbar renovation project for an other two and a half years as well as the Birendra International Convention Center Project. Shanti, in association with Narayan Prasad Shrestha, Prafulla Man Singh Pradhan and R. Adhikari was also responsible for the design of the Agricultural Bank at Ram Shah Path. It took nearly six years for them to complete the project.
Despite having reasonably successful professional (which was constrained only by limited availability of opportunities) life, why did Shanti join Ananda Marga in 1970s? Do you know why?
Shanti passed out of her engineering course in 1966 and within six months of doing so she married a man who studied in the same university and with whom she had been friends in school as well. In fact, both passed SLC in the same year. From the marriage she got a daughter who is a doctor now, and a son who is also an engineer. But the marriage didn’t last long and both divorced. This unsuccessful marriage had left deep wounds in her which cost her mental peace. Unable to cope with the disturbed state of mind, in 1972 she became a member of the Ananda Marga sect.
Ananda Marga is a global spiritual and social service organization founded in 1955 which aims at fulfilment of the physical, mental and spiritual needs of all people through its meditation centers and service projects around the world. The organisation suggested regular meditation to help her come out of her problems and she was able to come back to her normal life soon. Presently, she is regarded as an Acharya in the Ananda Margi Ashram at Min Bhawan.