Miss India SA: Medical student wants to use position to help disadvantaged girls

2008-08-25 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG'S Kasrivia Nagesar was crowned Miss India SA 2008 on Saturday.

Eighteen women from all over South Africa competed in the finals at the Durban City Hall.

Nagesar's victory was the first by a Pietermaritzburg contestant in the pageant's 17-year history, and when one meets her, it is easy to see why: she is confident and there is more to her beauty than meets the eye.

At only 19, she is in her second year of medical studies at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban. She previously spent two years in Belgium on an exchange programme.

She is a keen public speaker and won an award as best speaker in the province in 2006.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Nagesar said it was this achievement that confirmed her dream to become a medical professional with both drive and ability to treat minds before bodies.

But she says her best years were spent at Carter High School, where she was a school prefect and Rotary executive member. It was there that her ambitious nature was exposed and groomed.

"I have always believed that whatever I touched would be a success. I'm very honoured and excited. This will give me a platform to do things I could never do on my own, like going into communities and helping ill children.

"We know that physical ailments are just one aspect. There is poverty and many young girls can't go to school simply because they can't afford to.

"I now have a platform to advocate for those people by approaching different organisations for scholarships."

Having had just three hours' sleep when she spoke to The Witness yesterday, she admitted that it had "not quite all sunk in" yet.

She is not sure what will come of her reign, but for now she is taking it one speech and one interview at a time.

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