Nepalese transgender model dreams of a career in India

The model says she is overwhelmed by the support and love that she has received till now in India.

Mumbai: For Anjali Lama, Nepal's first transgender model, it was a struggle to land her first modelling assignment but she now hopes to use the Indian fashion week platform to boost her career in the country.

Anjali was shortlisted through the model auditions for the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2017, which begins here from tomorrow. The model says she is overwhelmed by the support and love that she has received till now in India and plans to settle down in Mumbai and expand her career.

"Mumbai has given me the hope and showered love in the most profuse way possible. I am planning to join an agency to work on dynamics even more professionally and strengthen my portfolio. I dream to win a renowned brand campaign feature while continuing to be walking the runway as this thrills me the most," Anjali told PTI in an interview.

The model was born in Nuwakot as a boy and was named Nabin Wabia. She changed her gender and became a woman once she moved to Kathmandu for her higher studies. Anjali says her friends realised her modelling potential and asked her to think of it as a career option. "I have always been told by my close friends regarding my good body features and this encouraged me to aspire for modelling as a career."

Her first assignment was of a photoshoot for the cover page of a magazine and the real challenge began after that. Anjali says it was a tough journey as several rejections came her way. "I was broke but never gave up. The most disturbing thing to hear was the reason of the rejection which was being a 'transgender'," she says.

Anjali's well-wishers advised her to leave the career path following her "successive failures". "I took this as a challenge to debunk this myth and lay my own way forward of my choice which has brought me today to this prestigious runway." Anjali says the fashion industry is all encompassing and she never felt discriminated. "Fashion is conducive. The entire industry has a big global influence in a positive way, this entwined with creative freedom and a strong self-expression makes the industry all

Anjali's life struggle has been presented in a documentary movie called "Anjali Living Inside Someone Else's Skin" that is based on transsexual lives. The model, whose life story has become an inspiration for many back home, says the fashion industry has become the modern-day vehicle for change. "Fashion is a strong subject and it has the possibility to turnaround the overall environment and psychology of even the
most rigid minds.

I certainly believe that 'Fashion' has become the modern-day vehicle for change.
"I now owe the responsibility to propagate its inclusively message to the forefront."
When asked who her favourite supermodel is, Anjali replies, "Brazilian Supermodel Adriana Lima."

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