KATHMANDU, May 1: Far from the maddening crowds of the city, 16 young girls are spending their day to regular practices on vocational skills and self-grooming at the International Club in Sanepa.
The finale of Miss Nepal 2012 is scheduled to take place at Hotel Annapurna, Durbar Marg, on May 6.
Meanwhile, amidst their tight schedules, they took out time to talk to Republica, and we, for the fun of it, asked them a few typical beauty pageant questions. Here’s how they tackled the matter.
Has Miss Nepal always been your dream?
Neelam Chand: Not really! I would watch national and international pageants on TV and enjoy them but never really dreamt of participating in one. This time, however, I felt this sense of eagerness to go and experience what it’s like, and here I am.
Heena Shrestha: I’m a medical student and an athlete, too. Anyone can guess how little thought I had given to being part of anything like this. It was my parents who encouraged me to take part. I refused the idea at first but then later thought why not.
Anjali Pradhanang: I absolutely had to be a part of Miss Nepal. I’ve set a journey for myself and winning this will be a
milestone. I participated in Miss Teen in 2010 only to gear up for this event.
Alisha Kunwar: Miss Nepal has always been my first and foremost goal. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a winner.
How do you think participation in a beauty contest like this is beneficial?
Nagma Shrestha: Being a part of Miss Nepal, I think the biggest advantage is that people listen to you. You gain a certain power which otherwise isn’t possible and that’s the reason behind my participation. Once I win the crown, I’ll use it as a tool to bring out awareness in the society at large.
Nirmita Subedi: I believe once you’re part of the Miss Nepal pageant, it fills you with courage and enthusiasm. It gives you the power to lead, which I’ll utilize in working to the betterment of the society. I’m a student of Social Works, and this pageant will give me a further push in the things I wish to do.
How much does winning the crown matter?
Shristi Shrestha: Winning the Miss Nepal crown is in my list of things to do in life. On a more serious note, I truly believe that in life you should never hold back. I would rather participate and not win than not participate and regret later in life.
Prasansa Rana: I’m here for the second time and I think that explains how much the crown matters to me. Having said that, I should also mention that I believe in second chances and I hope it proves lucky for me. I really can’t express in words how much this crown means to me.
Akasha Bista: Now that I’m here as a contestant, the crown does matter. However, I would like to emphasize that since I’m already involved with various organizations engaged in social works I would like to win the crown and bring more attention to these activities. If I win, I plan to contribute more, especially to old-age homes.
Subekshya Khadka: Until now, every year I saw a new girl getting the Miss Nepal crown and dreamt of myself in their position. The fact that these girls aren’t only beautiful physically, they have beautiful hearts which encourages me a lot. I really hope to win the crown and utilize it for various kinds of social works. I would especially like to contribute to women’s empowerment.
What do you have to say to all those against beauty pageants?
Dilasha G.C.: I think it’s only in Nepal that we have people who are against beauty pageants and that’s really sad. What I would like to say to these people is that we aren’t doing anything wrong. In fact, girls feel powerful and confident with participation.
Sabita Manandhar: Anyone who is against Miss Nepal is either extremely narrow-minded or has a severe misunderstanding. This is a place for girls to learn
Pronika Sharma: This year I don’t think anyone has protested and I’, taking it as a positive sign. To those who think there’s something wrong with beauty contests, I would like to tell them that it’s not exploitation of women; rather, it is women’s liberation.
Sonam Singh: I would like to yell out to all the protestors that this is a platform for us girls. This is a place where we learn and grow as individuals. Before my training here, I was a shy person but now I think I’ve become confident and outgoing. It’s here that I learnt to voice my opinions and I’m glad I came.
What’s the first thing you’ll do if/when you win?
Indira Rai: After my selection for the contest I’ve had to spend a lot of time away from friends. A lot of them have congratulated me and I haven’t had the time to thank them. The first thing I’ll do after the contest is have a big party with all my friends, and that I’ll do whether I win or not.
Bandana Tandukar: After I win, the first thing I would like to do is devote my time is to Maiti Nepal. We recently went there on a visit and I was so touched that I, there and then, decided to work for it.