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Daughter of exiled Kashmiri Pandit becomes Miss India Jammu and Kashmir

Last Updated on January 8, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Daughter of a migrant Kashmiri Pandit cop has been declared the winner of the VLCC Femina Miss India Jammu & Kashmir 2020. Ritika Raina is currently working as a financial analyst with a foreign bank and also preparing for her masters.

Ritika pursued her undergraduate degree from Symbiosis in Pune. She found herself always interested in singing, dancing and gardening but never formally associated with the beauty and wellness sector. Her first ever photo-shoot made her the Ms Jammu 2020.

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Ritika plans to start an NGO for teaching and promoting the handicrafts with the help of technology which will create job opportunities for women.

Ritika shares details of her life in an Instagram post which was originally posted by Miss India organization. She writes that she belongs to a community which faced a forced migration in the year 1990. Their beautiful house in Kashmir was set on fire and they were asked to leave the valley. Since then, her family shifted to Jammu and they started living as a refugee in their own nation. They faced many financial problems too because of sudden immigration. Initially, they had to stay in refugee camps and then they sold their house in Kashmir to build one in Jammu. Her parents made her understand the value of time and money.

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For most of the nineties, her father had a job in Srinagar and would visit the family only once or twice a year. She said that this made her internally strong and independent externally.

Ritika’s father was very impressed when Sushmita Sen became Ms India in 1994 and he influenced her to to participate in the contest. She says that Sen’s story of first being afraid to participate in Miss India 1994 due to tough competition and then winning the competition inspires me the most. Ritika is also preparing for participating in national level competitions.

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However, many more Kashmiri pandit girls have entered into profession. In 2019, Megha Kaul won this contest for Jammu and Kashmir. Dr Megha Kaul pursued her MBBS before starting her journey in Miss India where she won Miss Talented Competition but couldn’t make it into Top 12.