Kathmandu, July 6, 2017: Janak Raj Bhatta and Suravi Manandhar are representing Nepal in the Mister and Miss Deaf International Pageant that is slated to happen from July 10-17 in Paris, France. This is the first time Nepal is participating in the pageant.
Creative Hands of Deaf Women (CHDW), an organization with an objective to provide a platform to empower hearing impaired female group and extend possible aids in education, employment, and social upliftment, informed about Nepal’s participation in the international pageant amidst a press meet held today at Nanglo Pub and Café, Kamaladi.
The Hidden Treasure (THT), the host of Miss Nepal pageant is collaborating with CHDW to make all the arrangements for the pageant. Gopal Sundar Lal Kakshapati, Chairman of THT, expressed, “We at The Hidden Treasure believe that such pageants help to build a roadmap to differently abled people. Though preparing all necessary arrangements in a very short duration was a challenging job, we were quite optimistic about this pageant, and we made it happen.”
CHDW had received supports from Misu Shrestha, One Women’s Planet and Akarshan Boutique for the dresses. Meanwhile, Rachana Gurung Sharma, Malvika Subba, Asmi Shrestha and Raj Bhai Suwal helped the organization on the grooming training.
Sikha Pradhan, secretary at CHDW, shed light on the organization’s activities for the empowerment of the hearing-impaired people and extended her gratitude to The Hidden Treasure. “At a time when we had no idea how to prepare for the pageant, The Hidden Treasure enlightened us with a direction. We hope that the two selected participants will make Nepal proud at the international arena,” added Pradhan.
When asked about the experience in this venture, the male participant, Janak Raj Bhatta, an energetic young steward in a restaurant, recalled his hardships as a hearing-impaired person. “My academic education got limited to +2 and I have been working as a steward in SAMs One Tree Café. Never had I ever thought I would get a chance to represent my nation in such pageant but life gave me a surprise with this amazing opportunity. I decided to grab the opportunity and appeared for the interview and eventually got selected. Ever since, my life has changed and this has been a wonderful journey so far.”
Similarly, the other contestant, Suravi Manandhar, an enthusiastic girl passionate in fine arts, exclaimed, “My education was also limited to +2, and after that, I got into art and crafts. I couldn’t see any opportunities for me except in the field of arts. But, it changed when I got to know about this pageant. I was always thrilled about fashion shows but never thought someday I would be able to participate too. But, the extensive training I received this month has made me more confident regardless of my physical challenges.”
In the program, both Bhatta and Manandhar used sign language to convey their messages and interpreters expressed them in words. The intact smiles in their faces and their enormous zeal indicated how excited they are to represent Nepal in the international platform.
Kakshapati, who is excited about their participation, revealed that THT is forever ready to extend their support to such pageants as long as there are participants like them willing to showcase their talents. “We believe in empowering youths and look forward to contributing to similar events in the future too,” he added.
As the session concluded, a wave of optimism spread in the hall with everyone extending their best wishes to the contestants who are anticipated to make the nation proud.
Photograph: Gokul Joshi
By Drishti Maharjan