Itanagar: Four years ago, when Taniya Budh, a young entrepreneur from Arunachal Pradesh, sought male models from the state for fashion shows and video campaigns, he was in utter shock as not a single male model could be managed by volunteers working under him.
It was 2016 and not only places like Paris or London but also India’s Mumbai had a very huge fashion industry which is recognised throughout the world, said Budh.
Budh then decided to work for his next project which was a mega model hunt in Arunachal Pradesh.
“With two of my friends, I started to work on the project — mega model hunt. We termed it as ‘Mr Arunachal’ because the winner will be the face for Arunachal in the world of fashion,” said Budh.
“Only 15 candidates participated during the first edition and it was very difficult for us to organise with such a less number of contestants. However, we went on with those 15 boys and organised the first-ever male pageant in the state,” Budh said.
“During the first edition, people had doubts on our credibility and there were criticism too. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts, we started putting more efforts with a hope that people will understand us one day,” he said.
On Sunday, when Mr Arunachal mega model hunt’s super auditions were going on in an auditorium in a city hotel, Budh and his team were overwhelmed to see the progress and the response from fellow Arunachalees.
The super audition saw 43 participants from nook and corner of the state and later only 30 contestants were selected. These “Super 30” will now be trained and groomed by experts and would face the crowd on the finale of the 4th edition of Mr Arunachal which is on November 30.
When questioned about the journey starting from the 1st edition to the 4th edition, Budh said that it’s the number of participants which increased from 15 to 43 however; we couldn’t change the mindset of our male models.
“Previously, there were many instances wherein we were contacted by agencies dealing with models and actors but our models denied working in fashion industry. May be it’s due to home sickness or their families don’t allow them to opt a modelling career. This mindset needs to be changed,” said Budh.
The 4th edition Mr Arunachal is sponsored by the department of youth affairs, government of Arunachal Pradesh and this year’s winner will get direct entry in ‘Rubaru Mr India’.