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Life on a song

Femina Miss India Kanishtha Dhankar on modelling, acting and more



SECRET OF HER BEAUTY For Kanishtha Dhankar health and looks go hand in hand

That India's newest beauty queen comes from the place which has the dubious distinction of practising gender-based discrimination in worst form, is indeed an irony. Kanishtha Dhankar, Femina Miss India World 2011, hails from Haryana's Jhajjar district that shot to infamy for having the worst sex ratio in the country at 774 girls per 1,000 boys in the 2011 census. “Proving Haryana's daughters can also be achievers, my achievement will surely help initiate a new thought process in the state against gender discrimination,” said Kanishtha, recently in the Capital to promote a new product range of NoMarks, a leading cosmetic brand.

The gorgeous looking 22-year-old said she was lucky to have very supportive family and friends. “My parents always encouraged me in my ventures. Even when I decided to pursue modelling as career, it was my parents who first came forward to support me unconditionally,” said Kanishtha, whose father Raj Singh Dhankar is an Indian Navy officer and mother Kusum, a lecturer in Delhi. Although born and raised in Mumbai, Kanishtha said she was very close to her village (in Haryana) as her grandparents still live there in their ancestral house.

Contacts matter

“It all started during my college days. At 5 ft. 10 inches, I was taller than most of the boys in my class. My friends cajoled me to start modelling. So, I started modelling on part time assignments. Eventually I joined a modelling agency, and here I am,” said Kanishtha, who did her post-graduate diploma in advertising and public relations from H.R. College of Commerce, Mumbai.

Just one year into modelling she has already walked the ramp at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week and Lakme Fashion Week and has modelled for Elle, Vogue, Marie Claire, and Grazia magazines. “The modelling industry thrives on contacts. I am lucky I came in touch with top notch fashion designers and photographers, who helped me to reach the position where I am today,” admitted Kanishtha.

Kanishtha believes that Indian perception of modelling as a profession is changing gradually. “The conservative society of India for long has been a major deterrent to the modelling profession. Modelling, till recently, was considered immodest. But slowly, this mindset is fading away, and things are changing for the better.” Kanishtha said the modelling industry in India was expanding by leaps and bounds, and India was “slowly but surely” taking centre stage in the international fashion arena.

Asked if she was open to the idea of acting, Kanishtha smiled, “Definitely I would go for it if I get the opportunity. But at the moment modelling is top priority. I am working hard for the Miss World pageant to be held in November this year in London. I am looking forward to bring (home) the title.”

Kanishtha, who has also been awarded the Pantaloons Femina Miss Body Beautiful, Femina Miss Beautiful Legs, and Femina Miss Water Baby, said she maintained a rigorous exercise schedule including gym, swimming, and cycling. “Maintaining the body in perfect shape is very essential in the modelling business.” Apart from her workout Kanishtha said a healthy, balanced diet was also very important.

SHAMEEL

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