McLEOD GANJ: English literature student, Preksha Rana, 21, pursuing a Bachelors degree, was crowned the Miss Himalaya 2017 at the Grand Finale at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in McLeod Ganj on Sunday night.
Preksha is from Gaggal, Himachal Pradesh. A three-member jury choose Preksha over seven other contestants.
Tashi Lhamo from Kathmandu was chosen the First Runner-up, and Palak Thakur the Second Runner-up. Out-going Ayushi Sethi passed on the crown to the new winner.
“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,” said an elated Preksha Rana 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.”
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 by photojournalist and events producer Lobsang Wangyal under his eponymous company Lobsang Wangyal Productions. It has since organised the event annually, except for the year 2013, citing lack of funding assistance.