For Anshika Sharma, Miss Universe Nepal 2020, representing Nepal in an international platform like Miss Universe 2021, is, in a true sense, a moment of pride as she would compete with like-minded young “beauty with brains”. And, she is no exception.
This diligent and charming girl from Nepal, Anshika — professionally a sales analyst in Australia — is manifesting her dreams since she believes that if you want something, you need to manifest it.
Yes, she had participated in Miss Nepal Oceania 2020 as well and ended up being the first runner-up. This, she regards, was one feather on her cap.
In fact, she will be participating in the 69th Miss Universe pageant in Florida, the United States, and mesmerize the audience and the judges to be held on May 17. Prior to flying to the US, she had a conversation with Khabarmal about her preparations, plans and projects. Excerpts:
You are representing Nepal in the Miss Universe 2021. How would you describe your enthusiasm?
In fact, I am pretty excited about this new journey. Miss Universe 2021 is taking place on May 16 in the United States. My enthusiasm is beyond bounds. To be honest, every single moment has been so incredible (sighs).
Moreover, this is surely going to be a moment of pride not only for me but the Nepalis residing all over the world.
Let me reminisce my childhood days — say around the age of 13 or 14 – when I had a huge dream of representing Nepal in ‘Miss Universe’ when I grew up.
And, finally, it’s here. It’s like my dreams come true! Isn’t this a moment of pride for me? (quips). Moreover, my family and friends are cooperative and too supportive.
The messages that I have been receiving on social media platforms have equally motivated me. I expect votes from Nepalis residing all around the world.
As you said representing a country is certainly a moment of pride. Are you all set for the big bash?
Why not? In fact, I started the preparations — or I would say grooming myself — from the very next day I won the title of ‘Miss Nepal Universe 2020’ last December.
My team has been working assiduously to fit me into the ring. Now that, as you said, I am all set for the big bash – to hit the stage.
In Nepal, people pass various comments about the costume. How do you plan to present yourself in the Miss Universe 2021 with the Nepali costume?
Definitely, one of the exciting parts of Miss Universe is to show our national costume and the evening gown to give a distinctive impression.
That’s why our team put all its effort to select the best designers here in Nepal. In fact, I am not in a position to share or reveal all details now (laughs).
Since voting has already begun, how are your supporters or fans (national and international) supporting you?
Yes, voting is underway. This time, as a dedicated individual, I hope to enter the top 20 of Miss Universe through voting.
I am equally optimistic that Nepalis would not hesitate to vote for me. My expectations are too high just because of the voters’ support.
One can vote through the Miss Universe App. Or you can even show your love and support to me by voting me through Miss Universe’s app on Apple Pay and Google Pay.
In Nepal, it is even easy since the Hamro Khalti app is supporting us. One can vote for me through this app as well.
Thought our readers would be interested to know more about Anshika Education Welfare Foundation. How did it happen?
The Anshika Education Welfare Foundation is close to my heart. Let’s say it’s my baby. From an early age, my father used to visit different parts of the country to ensure and encourage children’s access to education.
Upon his return home, he would bring back both interesting and pitiable stories of children from remote areas.
He used to tell us about the students not being able to go to school owing to poverty or some other reasons, some students dropping out due to financial crunch, lack of access to schools, among others.
I have been listening to those stories since I was a child. These stories triggered my enthusiasm to work in the education sector to uplift the status of the children who are deprived of education.
I continued to pursue my dreams and finally, I was able to fulfill that desire in 2018. After graduating from an Australian university three years ago, I became self-reliant (quips). I thought I need to do something for such children.
I then consulted with some of my friends and formed a team of enthusiasts. In 2018, we have been supporting 10 children who are deprived of education in Khalanga village of Jumla district.
I then established my Foundation in February 2021 with the (resource) one million rupees money that I had got after winning the ‘Miss Universe Nepal’ in 2020.
Soon after I went to my home district Jhapa where I grew up listening to such stories since my childhood. Moreover, I feel connected with my hometown.
I paid a door-to-door visit there, selected some students whom I can support. Currently, I am supporting 14 children from Jhapa. Altogether, my Foundation has been supporting 24 students from Jhapa and Jumla as of now.
What challenges have you gone through in your endeavor so far? How did you cope up with them?
For me, the biggest challenge was to face the reality. I grew up in a very privileged background. I had heard about those underprivileged children but not seen or interacted with them.
Those were pure stories back then. However, when I met and talked to them, I would feel pity. I would think about what else could be done for them.
Was it your dreams and the emotions that inspired you to start this Foundation? What was the driving factor?
In fact, emotion works to fulfill a dream. As I said earlier, my emotions towards those children grew right from the time when my father used to share his experiences with us.
What sort of challenges, limitations, or criticism did you undergo especially while participating in the Miss Universe Nepal?
Fortunately, despite being aware of such a tendency, I did not experience any challenges or criticism. However, it also depends on how you handle criticism and challenges. Moreover, since I do not get easily affected by minor stuff, perhaps I did not experience any challenges.
Did you also participate in any pageant before ‘Miss Universe’?
At the national level, it is ‘Miss Universe Nepal’. While in Australia, I competed in a local pageant called ‘Miss Nepal Oceana’ in which I was able to become the first runner-up.
Did that help you?
Of course, since that was my first experience, it definitely helped me a lot. I got the opportunity to know more about a beauty pageant, and most importantly, my strengths and weaknesses.
Moreover, I believe in myself and do not care much about what others say. Thinking big and positive is what matters in life!
Beauty pageants give priority to beauty only. How far is it true?
This is true. What I wasn’t to say is that beauty is not just about external beauty. Beauty is something that you possess in your life, your purpose of life, your story, your experience, your confidence and positive attitude, and your message on the stage.
For me, a beauty pageant is a platform to prove your leadership, to empower you, and what not!