During our interview with this charming, confident and determined young lady, Bani Rai, Miss Mongol 2013 1st Runner-up, the essence of achievements and success was glowing off her.

The crown is hers…

“Before taking part in Miss Mongol, I was not that confident and comfortable to face the cameras,” says Bani Rai whose life changed after she was crowned the 1st runner-up at Miss Mongol 2013. Bani, humble person by nature, believes in herself and accepts that beauty pageants like Miss Mongol appeal to young girls because such contests help the younger generation expose their potential, power and progress.

Bani was doing some research online when she came across the guidelines of Miss Mongol. Instantly, she knew that she had to participate, firstly, because it’s every girl’s dream to win a beauty pageant and wear a crown. Second, because it would be a great platform for her to showcase her potential and learn more about Mongolian culture. All in all, for her it was a beautiful experience and her title was worth achieving.

The several stages of the interviews and trainings made her realize that such grooming sessions and interaction programs were indeed very helpful and effective. The sessions conducted by different personalities representing different fieldswere highly inspirational and they constantly guided her to further improve on her flaws and boosted her confidence and presence of mind. Before, she thought that beauty pageants focused on beauty alone. But now that she has gained some experience in this field, she has come to understand that with beauty come brains and that with winning the title come great responsibilities too. “It’s not just about beauty but something that allows you to taste the real flavor of life and as a result transforms you into a better person,” opines Bani.

After being part of a wonderful journey that taught her so much about life and her own culture, she now wants to participate in Miss Nepal 2014 and other functions that would allow her to be a part of something big where she can express her opinions amongst other people. She strongly believes that a person can attain success and achieve honor and respect only if they believe in themselves and defy the principles of impossible. “My philosophy of life is to stay strong and remain positive,” says Bani. And that was the key to her success.

Anticipated to listen to the answer of the question, as asked by Miss Mongol 2011 Sumnima Dewan, “What is the one thing that a woman can learn from man?” we made her repeat the answer. Bani’s answer was, “I would love to become a father to understand men.” A short answer but carrying a lot of meaning and understanding.

…and so is the teacher’s desk

Born on April 3, 1988, bright and enthusiastic Bani pursued her schooling from St. Teresa’s, Darjeeling and an Education Honors degree from Loreto Convent and continued her Masters in Rural Development from Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur. She says, “Studies shouldn’t be a burden but rather a fun experience,” and thus, believes that practical learning is a quintessence for better understanding.

Winning the title is not an easy task and no matter how glamorous we think it is, it comes with its share of duties and responsibilities. No doubt, her schedules are filled with the duties that come along with the crown. However, apart from these duties you might be surprised to know that Bani is a teacher as well. And this journey for her started back when she had just finished her Bachelors from India. Her parents entrusted her with their offspring’s tutoring because they saw the potential in her. Professionally it has been two months that she has taken up teaching Hotel Management and English at National Open College and is also an Executive Member and Program Coordinator at the college. To add to the list she gives IELTS classes as well and is a guest lecturer at various institutions. When questioned about teaching she says, “Teaching is something that you have fun with while interacting with students and it is a learning phase for me too as you know every day is a new day and every person is to be learned from.”

That’s not the end of it. Bani is also into social entrepreneurship and has worked for CFM (Change Fusion Nepal) as an intern where she started with fundraising and now is a member of the research team. Later she jumped to PSI (Population Service International) as the Behavior Change Coordinator (BCC) of Kathmandu Valley where she worked with water hygiene in promoting pure drinking water in rural areas. She confides, “My education should apply on people, then it’ll definitely mean I’ll be a successful person.”

Young and successful, Bani is an epitome of beauty with brains and is quite an idol for many youth of today. She idolizes Sushmita Sen for her simplicity and congeniality. With her career running on the right path, she still finds time to cater to her interests in poetry and cooking where Indian cuisines are her strong field. Now, wasn’t that quite an example of success and inspiration? But before you get all geared up remember no matter how high you fly, never leave the ground.