Pageant winners set for world stage

(From left) Panchali Ghosh, Ibapynhun Syiemlieh, Nupur Saigal and Mebarisha Sohphoh. (Banbitlang Marbaniang)

Shillong: Four women from Meghalaya, who recently won in a beauty pageant held in Guwahati earlier this month, will now represent India in an international pageant to be held in the Philippines.

The beauty queens are Miss India Tourism Asia International Pageant 2018 winner Ibapynhun Syiemlieh, first runner-up Sookini Sutnga, second runner-up Panchali Ghosh and Mrs India Tourism International 2018 first runner-up Mebarisha Sohphoh.

“The pageant aims at women’s empowerment and girl power and we look forward in giving exposure to the contestants when they go to the Philippines,” said brand ambassador and national director for Miss and Mrs India International (global and tourism), Nupur Saigal, here on Tuesday.

The national-level pageant was held earlier this month in Guwahati with participants from across the country. The Miss Tourism Asia International and Mrs Tourism 2018 pageants in the Philippines in October and November will feature participants from 40 countries.

“We will have a cultural exchange when we send our contestants abroad. We definitely think they would get a lot of exposure and also be empowered,” she said.

The women also asked the people to support them by sponsorship.

“We expect to bring home not only the title but honour to our state and country,” said Ibapynhun.

Stating that women should be given a platform to showcase their talents, she said, “They should not feel scared but come forward. Each one of us has been blessed with god-given talents and they should not be wasted. Women empowerment also means that women stand up for themselves.”

When asked about time management, Mebarisha, mother of a six-year-old, said, “Everyone has gifts. Sitting idle and not putting our talent to good use would lead us nowhere. Therefore, we have to sacrifice. A second can change a person’s life and we must make the best use of it.”

“We must have time for our families and ourselves. There should be a balance. If we do this, we can achieve our goal,” said Mebarisha.

Nupur, who was the winner of Mrs India 2015, said there would be more grooming sessions for the four women to prepare for the Philippines.

To a query, she said, “Yes, the girls and the people from the Northeast are very talented. I have come across singers, excellent dancers, artists and many more. They can reach great heights, the sky’s the limit. Hard work and dedication can take you anywhere.”