In a first, reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska to visit Kashmir
India, which has produced six Miss World title winners, will be hosting the pageant after nearly three decades this year
In a first for an international beauty pageant winner, reigning Miss World Karolina Bielawska will visit Kashmir on Monday on a day-long tour for an event.
According to Rouble Nagi, chairperson of a Mumbai-based organisation engaged in women empowerment, Bielawska will arrive here along with other pageant winners, including Miss World India Sini Shetty and Miss World Caribbean Emmy Pena.
"Gar firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin asto (If there is a heaven on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here). And how is it possible that Miss World would miss heaven?" Nagi told PTI.
The entrepreneur, who heads Rouble Nagi Art Foundation and Studio Saksham, said her foundation has championed artistic expression, community development, and cultural exchange. "This collaboration is yet another manifestation of the foundation's commitment to creating memorable experiences that transcend boundaries," she added.
The event is being held in collaboration with PME Entertainment in India, and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism.
Bielawska's visit to Jammu and Kashmir comes ahead of the 71st edition of the Miss World 2023 pageant, to be held in India later this year. India, which has won the prestigious title six times, is hosting the pageant after nearly three decades. The last time the country hosted the event was back in 1996.
Jammu and Kashmir tourism secretary Syed Abid Rasheed Shah said this pre-event tour for the Miss World pageant is taking place in the region months after the G20 Tourism Working Group meeting held here.
As per trends this year, Shah said the authorities are expecting a "record-breaking" number of tourists, both domestic and international. "The number of inbound tourists (foreigners) is a record high for the last 33 years. From the Miss World pre-event tour, we expect the guests to be ambassadors for Jammu and Kashmir's beauty and hospitality throughout the world," he said.
During the day-long tour, Miss World and other the dignitaries, including Miss World America Shree Saini, Miss World England Jessica Gagen, and Miss Asia Pricilia Carla Saputri Yules, would take a boat ride at the iconic Dal Lake besides meeting the press and later calling on lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha.
This event will not only showcase the region's picturesque landscapes, but also provide a platform for local artists and artisans to interact with the guests, added Nagi, who hails from Jammu.
Jammu and Kashmir recorded 1.88 crore tourist arrivals last year, the highest number in the past three decades. On 1 August, Sinha said 1.27 crore tourists visited the union territory until July.