Twenty-one-year-old Preksha Rana won the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2017 crown at a modest event in McLeod Ganj on Sunday night.
Preksha is from a town near Dharamshala called Gaggal. She is a student pursuing BA in English literature. Out-going Ayushi Sethi passed on the crown to the new winner, and the Director of the Pageant presented the winners cheque of one lakh rupees.
A three-member jury decided Preksha as the winner over seven other contestants. Tashi Lhamo from Kathmandu was chosen the First Runner-up, and Palak Thakur the Second Runner-up. They received 50,000 and 25,000 rupees respectively.
“It was my dream to be a part of this Pageant, and I prepared and worked really hard. I am happy that I made it,” Preksha Rana said after being crowned the new winner.
“The Pageant gave me a new path and I hope to further pursue my ambitions in modelling and acting.”
“I will try to live up to the expectations and the responsibilities the title carries. And, would like to motivate other Himalayan girls to follow their dreams and ambitions without caring about the society’s judgement,” she added.
The three judges were Ghazala Abdullah, a social and environmental activist; Atul Acharya, an English lecturer at Government College in Jwalamukhi; and Usha Dobhal, a healer and provider of workshops for woman empowerment.
The event which was held at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) was filled with music as an array of local performers entertained the audience.
Himachal Tourism has thrown in their support of the Pageant, and the organisers said the Urban Development Minister of the Government of Himahcal Pradesh has given support for the Pageant as well.
Miss Himalaya Pageant was first started in 2012 and produced under Lobsang Wangyal Productions. It has since organised the event annually, except for the year 2013, citing lack of funding assistance.