More than a pretty face

By Monojit Mandal

Simran Chettri never thought that modelling would be a career option for her. The 24-year-old Shillong girl has come a long way from winning the Miss Gorkha 2018 title. She has a bigger plan for a greater impact.
Chettri, a graduate in Hospital Management, wants to contribute to the public healthcare system and make people aware of their health rights.
Born to a middle class family, Chettri had a simple childhood, occupied mostly by homework, exams, grades and career planning. The alumnus of Seven Set School and St Edmund’s School has always been among the top performers in the class. “I was never into modelling and I was never quite extrovert. I still remember, I trembled during my first audition and I thought I would not make it. I came back home upset. But I got selected,” she said.
After graduation, Chettri shifted to Bengaluru with a job in the human resources. “I was working in the healthcare industry in Bengaluru and then Hyderabad but I always wanted to do something good for people in Meghalaya because I feel the healthcare scenario in Meghalaya needs a lot of improvement in terms of technology and various other aspects. It pains my heart to think that people from my state has to go outside for basic treatment,” said Chettri.
She took a break from the job and came back to Shillong to work in the healthcare sector. It was then that she auditioned for Miss Gorkha 2018. After winning the title she took part in Miss Shillong the next year and won the second runner-up title.
When asked how difficult was it to prepare for the beauty pageants for the first time, Chettri said she did not even cut down on her favourite rosogolla. “Drinking plenty of water and long walks helped me.”
After winning the Miss Gorkha title, Chettri joined an NGO named Symbol of Sneh Society where she took part in various social activities, like cleaning drives in different localities.
Chettri feels that cleanliness should be a part of people’s lifestyle so as to build a hygienic living space.
Public health safety is Chettri’s major focus and she wants to work in the area of women health and the aspect of menstrual hygiene.
“I want to educate women and their families about this (menstruation) as a woman needs help during that phase. I want women to embrace their cycle with pride and not with shame,” she said.
Chettri is not sparing much thought about taking up modelling as a career and is more focused on her social work. She said she is open to opportunities.
“Modelling is not my career but just a stepping stone to achieve my ultimate goal, which is to improve health services. I’m open to working in any part of the country and even abroad to develop my skills further and be capable enough to bring about a change, starting with Shillong, my birthplace,” she explained.
The dedicated social worker believes that one does not have to be a social worker or an NGO member to help people and do good to the society. “…I always make sure that I help street children with food if not with money,” she concluded.

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