Twenty-one-year-old Kiwi-Indian girl Karishma Hemi Ranchhod, suffered from an incurable sickness in her childhood, which instead of demolishing her morale, inspired her to rise and win Miss Five Crowns New Zealand 2018.

Now she is on a mission to inspire others within the community, especially youngsters to never give up on their goals.

Miss Five Crowns New Zealand is a pageant show that brings together women from all over New Zealand, who among other things, also want to help dreams come true for their extended communities.

Ms Ranchhod was amongst the five finalists and crowned as Miss Five Crowns NZ 2018 Charity Queen.

Charity work within communities is an essential criterion for selecting final winners for the pageant show.

The pageant-website describing its participants writes, “Our beauty queens want to help dreams come true for their extended communities. To make this happen our young women volunteer their time to charities.”

Why this pageant show?

Speaking to The Indian Weekender Ms Ranchhod said, “I entered this pageant show because it’s a fantastic platform to share what I am passionate about, which is to inspire others never to give up.

“Life is filled with difficulties, however, how we confront our challenges is precisely what makes us great,” Miss Ranchhod said with remarkable insightfulness.

Ms Ranchhod is studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting, Finance and Commercial Law Majors) and Bachelor of Health Science (Population Health Major) at the University of Auckland, and lives on the North Shore, Auckland, with her parents and two younger siblings.

“I live at home with my mum and dad, my two brothers (Kishan and Kris) and my grandmother.

“We’ve grown up respecting true Indian values but also making the most of all the opportunities NZ has to offer,” Miss Ranchhod said about her Kiwi-Indian origin.

Have the adversities in your early childhood affected you in any way?

However, what makes her journey an inspiration for others is her struggle and conquest with the adversities that life threw upon her very early in her life.

“I grew up at Starship Children’s Hospital battling health issues of my own.

“I have been suffering from an autoimmune disease for over nine years now and I have faced incredible highs and lows while still studying, working and volunteering but no matter what I have come out the other side so much stronger and even more determined to reach my goals,” Miss Ranchhod said about the adversities and the journey of overcoming them.

She has been volunteering every Wednesday at Starship Children’s Hospital through Radio Lollipop for last two and half years.

“I go up to the wards and spend time with the brave little kids. We play games, do arts and crafts, sing, dance, play music or simply just spend time with them.

“It is extremely rewarding helping to lift them up when they are at their worst,” Miss Ranchhod said.

More about your journey in the pageant show

Participation in this pageant gave Miss Ranchhod further opportunity to get more involved with the community.

“I have been able to get more involved in my community through Miss Five Crowns NZ.

“This year our chosen charity was Youthline NZ and I was able to go out and fundraise through bake sales, open mic nights, raffles and bucket collections to help them continue supporting New Zealand’s young people.

“I managed to raise over $4000 and took home the title of Miss Five Crowns NZ 2018 Charity Queen,” said an elated Miss Ranchhod, recalling her journey through the pageant.

What are your future plans?

I didn’t enter a pageant to win a crown. I entered because it was the perfect way for me to help spread my message to the world. Anything is truly possible if you never give up. The two titles, however, will help with me with my beauty with a purpose project. I want to help young people in our community living with chronic diseases achieve their goals. I can’t wait to empower them and see what wonderful things we can achieve together.