With nine contestants competing for the title of Miss Himalaya 2017, the Pageant has created history for itself for having the biggest number of contestants in its five years.
Organisers said, “It’s history in the making. It is by far the biggest number of contestants in the five years of the Pageant.”
The nine contestants are: Aaisha Gurung, 25, from Chamba; Akansha Mahat, 19, from Dharamshala; Kalzang Butith, 22, from Kaza; Mannat Thakur, 18, from Nahan; Monika Negi, 20, from Rampur Bushahr; Palak Thakur, 17, from Palampur; Preksha Rana, 21, from Gaggal; Simran Mehta, 20, from Dharamshala; and Tashi Lhamo, 24, from Kathmandu.
In the past the Pageant has seen contestants from Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, apart from Himachal Pradesh, where the Pageant takes place.
“We hoped to have contestants from all over the Himalayas in this fifth edition. Apparently we haven’t reached out far enough. We will put more effort into this in the future so that we have contestants from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh in next year’s Pageant,” the organisers said.
“The Pageant is an example of turning words into action, and making a difference in the community. There can be many more such events and programmes if we truly want to empower women. The Pageant acts as a launching pad for all the ambitious and talented young women, giving them the chance they deserve to touch new heights and to be seen as modern young women,” organisers said during an event introducing the contestants to the press.
“The Pageant provides opportunities for fostering friendship and understanding among the Himalayan people.”
Minister for Urban Development, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Sudhir Sharma has given his support for the Pageant, and the Himachal Tourism is said to be supporting the Pageant with some funds.
Five rounds of competition over two days on Saturday and Sunday will decide the winner, judged by a three-member jury.
The competition rounds scheduled from tomorrow will start with the Talk and Talent Rounds on Saturday evening, and the Finale night with three rounds consisting of Introduction Round, Traditional Costume Round and Interview rounds will be judged on Sunday night.
The online Miss Photogenic voting, which will have five points for the winner, has started today.
The winner will walk away with a cash prize of one lakh (1,00,000) rupees, while the First Runner-up will get 50,000 rupees, and the Second Runner-up 25,000 rupees.