Spellbinding an audience from all across the Northeast region, Sanwaka Surong from Meghalaya, Pema Choden Bhutia from Sikkim, and Danube Kangjam from Manipur were crowned the title winners of 18th Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021 at the ITA Cultural Complex, Machkhowa in Guwahati on December 29 evening.
Having completed 18 glorious years, Mega Miss North East is the biggest beauty pageant of Northeast India, conceptualized by fashion entrepreneur Abhijit Singha, produced by Mega Entertainment and marketed by Mega Activation.
The contestants travelled to Guwahati for several days of activities including grooming and training sessions conducted by Mega Entertainment, brand photoshoots and activities, followed by rehearsals, leading up to the grand finale of the pageant.
The pageant has been supported by title sponsor Sunsilk, in association with Eyetex Dazzler, hospitality partner Radisson Blu, shopping partner Sohum and jewellery partner L Gopal Jewellers (A unit of Jagmohan Soni) located at Christian Basti and Kalapahar.
Earlier, Abhijit Singha, founder of Mega Entertainment, had announced that there would be no runners-up titles in Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021, and all three winners would be crowned equally as winners of the pageant, with equal prize packages and benefits.
Speaking at the grand finale of the event, he said: “Mega Entertainment is delighted to introduce the three winners of Sunsilk Mega Miss North East 2021 – Danube, Sanwaka and Pema. They have struggled their way to the top, managing to beat 47 other contestants. We are so proud and excited to be a part of their incredible journey.”
Twenty-year-old Pema Choden Bhutia, who hails from Sivik Lingdok in Sikkim, is currently pursuing her BTech in civil engineering in Bengaluru. Speaking about her crowning moment, Pema said: “This is a dream come true. Sunsilk Mega Miss North East is a platform that not only gives women an opportunity to be themselves but also helps them to learn and grow. It helps women evolve and develop a vision for their lives.”
Pema has a vision to use her title and influence to advocate for education of the underprivileged. She also aims to represent her state in the Miss India pageant.
The youngest and most pampered of 5 siblings, Sanwaka Surong from Shillong is currently pursuing her masters’ degree in tourism. She said: “I am still unable to believe that I actually won the crown. I feel truly blessed and the feeling is indescribable. I feel so grateful to God – if it was not for Him, and for the love and support of my family and my friends, realizing this dream would not have been possible for me.”
The 21-year-old beauty from Shillong lost both her parents, but with the help of her loved ones, she still stands strong. Sanwaka aims to use her own experience to help other orphans cope with the loss of their loved ones and help them understand that there will always be people to love them and support them. She believes that losing somebody you love should not weaken you, rather it should help you derive strength from the fact that they will always be beside you in spirit and guide you from above. Her vision is to help promote responsible tourist behaviour, so that the pristine nature of a tourist spot is not destroyed with irresponsible littering, overcrowding, and disrespectful behavior towards local people, their cultures, customs, etc.
The other winner, 21-year-old Danube Kangjam from Imphal, is currently pursuing her law education. She was inspired by Mega Miss North East 2015 Jessica Marbaniang, and since then it has been a dream for her to participate in this pageant. She has been preparing for this day all along and says that winning the crown is indeed a dream come true. “This pageant holds a very special place in my heart, and my ambition to come here brought me into the world of pageantry through the state pageant. So, I feel really grateful and happy on winning this crown.”
She believes that this title will help her influence the youth and amplify her reach to a wider audience. So, she aims to use her voice to speak out on a variety of social issues that concerns her like cybercrime, LGBT rights, body positivity and self-acceptance. She looks forward to participating in national pageants to take her vision forward.
The three winners were bestowed with gifts and vouchers worth approximately Rs 1 lakh from MN Gifting Creation, Fit 7 by MS Dhoni, Raju Reyaz Hair Salon, Sai Infrastructure, Sohum and personal accidental insurance worth Rs 20 Lakhs each from Anant Creation Financial Services.
Apart from that, they have also won a professional photoshoot by Prashant Brahma Photography, travel opportunities, professional representations and grooming by Mega Entertainment, and opportunities to participate in different socio-cultural activities across Northeast. Besides, the winners also get the opportunity to walk the ramp in various regional and national shows.
Guwahati-based PR and Reputation Management consultancy, Life’s Purple, was the exclusive PR partner at the event.
The Top-15 contestants participated in the Evening Gown presentation, where they showcased the creations by top fashion designers and brands like Jansai, Karan Thokchom, Arif Mukhim, and the official designer of Mega Entertainment Dipika Devi.
The judges who sealed the fate of this year’s winner included: fashion & lifestyle promoter Monika Devi, advocate Manish Kumar Das, Mega Miss North East 2012 Ibethoi Thokchom, fashion designer Arif Mukhim, and Mega Miss North East 2018 and Femina Miss India Assam Jyotismita Baruah.
The pageant organizers were also judged for a series of sub-awards. Nishigandha Gogoi won the Sohum Miss Trendy subtitle, Pema Choden Bhutia won Radisson Blu Miss Hospitality, Jyotika Boruah won Eyetex Dazller Miss Beautiful Face, Sanwaka Surong won the Shouthout NE India Miss Tourism North East subtitle, Moyuri Deori won the Pageant Times Miss Popular subtitle and Ringjoy Leivon was awarded the Sunsilk Hair Hacks Diva subtitle.