UKZN Student Wins Miss India SA Title
Third-year optometry student, Ms Venetia Gopaul, has won the Miss India SA International 2014 Pageant.
Gopaul’s modelling career began just three years ago so she was not expecting to win the Miss India SA contest which was the first pageant she had entered.
‘Winning gave me an amazing feeling. I have decided to use this title as a platform to campaign against the exploitation of women in the fashion and entertainment industry,’ she said.
Ms Meriskha Gareeb was the first runner up with third place going to Ms Raisha Sewpersad. Unfortunately, ill health prevented Gopaul from representing South Africa in the Indian Princess International Pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand.
She said during her reign, she planned to make appearances at all pageant-related events. ‘I will motivate and groom young talent. I will also be involved in a lot of charitable and social events throughout the country.’
Gopaul’s interests include Indian modern dance, the violin, acrylic painting and sketching.
The beauty queen has always had a passion for the medical field: ‘I plan on funding an organisation that gives underprivileged children with ocular disorders the gift of sight and the ability to see the world as most of us do. I chose to study at UKZN because it is one of the most highly recognised institutions in Africa and the only university to offer optometry in Durban,’ she said.
Gopaul copes with her busy schedule through balance: ‘I maintain the perfect balance by practising yoga, meditation and having an immense faith in God, for without him nothing is attainable.’
She receives a lot of support from her family and is proud of her achievements: ‘My family has always instilled in me values that kept me well-grounded on an academic and social front.’
- Nombuso Dlamini