Those Who Dared to Dream: The Team Behind Miss Kalimpong 2017

TheDC team congratulates the young men and women, who worked so hard behind the making of Miss Kalimpong 2017 Beauty Pageant – grand finale for which was held on the 20th of December 2017 in Kalimpong. There would be no Miss Kalimpong 2017, had it not been for the years of hardwork, dedication and vision put in by these young individuals. They dared to dream and turn their dreams into a reality.

Born and raised in Kalimpong, most of these young individuals exhibited a passionate enthusiasm to do something for “our community, our own people, in our own place”. Their visible, deep sense of awareness and desire to do something in and for Kalimpong vis-a-vis their field of expertise and interest i.e. fashion, brought these youngsters together two years ago at ‘NAKKAL’ fashion show in Kalimpong. The initial success of the fashion show, which was conceived and organized by Gyalshen Lah (currently the CEO of Spot the Trend) in 2015 and 2016, motivated these individuals to dream further. That was when their dream of reviving Miss Kalimpong Beauty Pageant took shape.

                                                                                 Gyalshen Lah, CEO of Miss Kalimpong

Says Gyalshen, “I am based in Kolkata for my work these days but I travel to Kalimpong frequently. About a few years ago, I had started Humans of Kalimpong page for which I received overwhelming response(s) and support. The page became very popular. The stories of our people, their struggles, our social issues, successes and hardships made me realize that there was so much to do for our people in Kalimpong. Since I was always interested in fashion, designing, modeling and organizing events, I thought, why not revive this old forgotten beauty pageant to give our girls and women the much needed space to unleash their potential. I saw this innate interest, enthusiasm in our youngsters in this line of business when I organized the fashion show for two consecutive years. So elevating the fashion shows to a formal, beauty pageant had been my dream.”

                                                                                  Priyanka Lama, Stylist for Miss Kalimpong

The stylist for the Beauty Pageant Priyanka adds, “While studying in Delhi, I had constantly pursued my interest, although part-time to work as Assistant Stylist for L’Officiel Magazine. Since I was interested in fashion and styling, I wanted to do something relating to this area, and that was when I met Gyalshen. I have seen in the past one month how hard and focused our girls are. ”

                                        Neha Soni, Dance Choreographer for Miss Kalimpong

According to the organisers, the ‘official’ (formal) Miss Kalimpong Beauty Pageant was held last in 1979 – almost 38 years ago. Post 1979, several other beauty competitions and(or) contests were held in Kalimpong, including the one in 1994, but none of them involved any formal processes for selection, trainings, grooming, question and answer rounds including offering of lucrative prizes and other opportunities for the winner. What stood out unique this time was the Pageant’s “Beauty with Purpose” framework. Inspired from the Miss World contest, the oranisers tried their best to operationalize and implement the “Beauty with a Purpose” framework. The contestants aged between 18 -25 have undergone a month long rigorous grooming and training activities with the Spot the Trend team, all through which, they were evaluated. Fifty-four young women from Kalimpong participated in the Miss Kalimpong 2017 Beauty Pageant, from which Top 15 participants made it to the grand finale.  The grand finale was graced by Rewati Chetri and Tulsi Ghimire, amongst other judges from in and around Kalimpong.

                                                            Praveen Chettri, Official Photographer for Miss Kalimpong

TheDC congratulates the organizing team – Gyalshen Lah, Priyanka – Stylist, Nisha Chettri – Media head, Praveen Chettri – Official Photographer, Fitness Trainer –Yozna Pradhan, Event Coordinator – Chopel Bhutia, Dance Choreographer – Neha Soni including the Title sponsorer – Mani Trust for the success of this event.

                                Chopel Bhutia, Event Coordinator for Miss Kalimpong

More than the successful reviving of a formal Beauty Pageant after almost 38 years, TheDC team wants to highlight how this initiative by a handful of energetic, hardworking and passionate young individuals created a space for themselves to display and put to work their skills and expertise including providing the much-needed platform for the young participants from Kalimpong. What further stood amongst these young organisers and the participating contestants was the utmost seriousness with which they executed the entire event – the kind of seriousness that was both fearless and inspiring.

                                                 Nisha Chettri, Media head for Miss Kalimpong

In the wake of a chaotic political scenario in the Hills, where our century old dream for a separate statehood of Gorkhaland has yet again been brutally (and strategically) quashed by the West Bengal Government, where 13 of our brothers and sisters have been killed, where our political representatives have somehow compromised and jeopardized the fulfillment of our dream, where our people are gradually getting fatigued and disheartened by those projecting to be our representatives, where our collective dream of Gorkhaland to live a dignified existence is slowly being corrupted, co-opted or even erased – the passion, seriousness and hardwork put in by young organizing team members of Miss Kalimpong 2017 Beauty Pageant, should acted as an exemplary example for all of us to continue dreaming and dare to make our dream of Gorkhaland a reality.

                                            Yozna Pradhan, Fitness Trainer for Miss Kalimpong

Just like how these young individuals dreamed of doing something for Kalimpong and her people, we must continue to dream of/for Gorkhaland and the well being of the Gorkhas. But merely dreaming about the possibility of Gorkhaland will not work, therefore, just like these young people, we must, with utmost seriousness, sincerity, passion, hardwork and dedication work towards making Gorkhaland a reality.

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Let us not forget that nothing is impossible if the heart and the mind are at the right place. Let us continue to dream. Let us continue to seriously work hard towards materializing this dream.

Jai Gorkha. Jai Gorkhaland.

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