TAC Special

A Dream Win

“I had very little support and too much of discouragement and demotivation to suppress me. But I believed in myself and never forgot who I am. All I have ever cared about is fulfilling my dream of winning a crown for my state, Nagaland and for my country”- C Elina Sangtam

By Dheeraj Kale

C Elina Sangtam hails from a small village called Kisetong located in the Kiphire District of Nagaland. She lost her father at the tender age of four and grew up along with her cousins at her uncle’s and aunt’s home because her mother could not afford to raise her independently. Elina discovered her passion for modelling when she was crowned as “Miss Fresher” in the first year of her college from amongst 300 freshers like her. “It was a tough competition organized by the College authorities and winning that title made me very confident about myself. Since then, I secretly dreamt of going further and participating at International level representing my state and my country.” she now recalls.

C Elina Sangtam

Elina could not pursue her interests in music and dance due to lack of opportunity in her hometown and financial constraints. But there was one dream she couldn’t let go and so she decided to chase it by boarding a sleeper class train from Nagaland to Ahmedabad immediately after finishing her graduation. But despite of being talented and ambitious, it wasn’t a smooth ride for her. She faced a lot of hardships and a really tough time in pursuit of fulfilling her dream.

The 24-year young beauty, today is the proud recipient of 3 International titles including her most recent achievement – the“Miss Empress Earth 2021-22”title organized in South Africa. Elina won her first international title in the year 2019 as the “MIHM Queen Universe International”. She went on to win her second title in the year 2020 in a beauty contest organized online across the world during the lockdown period in which she emerged as the winner of “Miss Queen of Nations”. But Elina never acknowledged these as her true achievements. “Seeing myself grow up to this day and seeing my mother happy and proud of me is my life’s biggest achievement.”, says a gleaming Elina. “I wouldn’t be where I’m today, if it wasn’t for her prayers and love for me.”

C Elina Sangtam

Elina’s mother, C. Akhumla Sangtam, aka Hosheli struggled to meet ends meet by running a small pan shop and living alone in a small one room kitchen her entire life. She endured this suffering to pay for her daughter’s school fee and give her a family so that she could lead a normal life. Elina today has managed to save enough to gift a home to her mother. Her first ever home in her hometown, Nagaland. But she feels she can never do enough to repay her mom, who never remarried after her father’s demise and sacrificed her entire life for her daughter. She considers her mother as her biggest strength who encouraged her and became her source of inspiration at every step in her life. “She set me free, she gave me the freedom to do anything I want. To make my dream come true, to live, to succeed and to be a good human being…” a daughter shares about her doting mother.

On the path to her dream destination, she met her mentor, Aizya Naaz Joshi and her catwalk trainer, Dr Praful Rawat who have been the pillars of motivation behind her success. She gives the credit of her every win to their invaluable guidance and training.

All the challenges and hurdles faced by Elina during her journey, only made her more determined and strengthened her undying spirit to fight back and emerge victorious.

C Elina Sangtam

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