Beauty with brains and a golden heart for charity

Beauty with brains and a golden heart for charity

PETALING JAYA: The inaugural Miss Asia Millenium Universe 2019 pageant winner, V Kokila Vaani, views pageants as a way of extending her charity work, proving that she is beauty with brains and a golden heart for charity.

“If I say I am a lawyer and I want to talk to you, they would go like, So? Why are you talking to me? Don’t waste my time.  If you come as a beauty queen or celebrity, the impact of reaching out or idolizing has a high gradient,” said Kokila in a recent interview with The Leaders Online.

“Pageantry life is something that motivates any women. Personally, I have always used it for my charity because it gives me a strong voice,” she also added

“Being in a beauty pageant furthers my cause to do charity.  You need this kind of voice. People won’t listen to you if you just go and do charity. People are not inspired. I don’t blame the girls but they are not inspired when you are a nobody.”

The 34-year-old lawyer who is also active in Selangor Bar has been actively involved in charity work via an NGO called Astivaaram Foundation that was formed several years ago by former MIC leader G Kumar Amaan.

Miss Asia Millenium was not the first pageant that Kokila won. Eight years ago, she won the Miss Most Inspiring title in the Miss Malaysia Indian Global 2011 pageant.

She also spoke at length about her charity work especially with young girls from poor background.

Through Astivaaram, she has been providing legal aid on a pro bono basis for the B40 group specifically in Selangor.

“I have made it into a one -stop centre where people can come for legal advice. We may not represent you in court as that would require funds.

“We provide free legal advice on a one to one basis provided you come from really poor background with a family income of less than RM2000.”

She has also been engaging directly with poor young girls.

“We also have a health wing. We go to homes with doctors to conduct general health check-ups on children as they have skin problems.

“Girls have menstruating problems. We found out some homes just give one pad a day. As a girl myself, it depends on your body. One might have flow. One pad is very unhygienic for anyone.  But the girls cannot go and ask the caretaker. So, we decided to provide the pads.”

“A Japanese pad company was giving out free pads because they were stopping production. We channeled the pads to the girls directly because they shouldn’t be in a position of having to ask.”

“I use to give a beauty kit which I renamed as Pampering Kit with pads, little ear ring and lotion to make them happy. It is for personal hygiene and made the girls feel pretty as well.  I started talking to girls after my first win in a beauty pageant.”

She is also conducting pampering sessions as part of her mentoring programmes in Tamil and national schools.

“The old won’t listen as they only want you to solve their problems but you can change the little ones that is why I do a pampering session annually. I bring kids for movie shows, at least 200 of them. I book a bus to Paradigm Mall, for instance, for a movie experience with popcorn in the mall during Christmas.

“All this pampering comes under my mentoring programme, especially the kids in Tamil schools.  They are Malay homes too.

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