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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

From D.G Khan to Miss South Asia Australia Miss Community- Journey of a Saraiki-speaking Baloch Girl

From childhood memories of Fareedabad named after her grandfather Dr. Ghulam Fareed Khan, the first doctor of Dera Ghazi Khan and being a proud daughter of a leading Pakistani-scientist Professor Dr. Aleem Ahmed Khan, current Pro-Vice Chancellor at the Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan. Miss Rida Aleem Khan is from a family of farmers-turned academics with no links to army, political or sardar background. She is known for her community work in both Australia and Pakistan. Thus, becoming the first ever Miss South Australia Miss Community Winner 2020. A Nation-wide Australian competitive beauty pageant organised by Dilkie Perera, Savindhi Perera-Jain and Vishni Perera.

From D.G Khan to Miss South Asia Australia Miss Community- Journey of a Saraiki-speaking Baloch Girl
Rida in her Miss South Asia Australia Miss Community Winner 2020 sash.
Photographer: Grafity

“Rida is a great role model and has opened the door for all the tribal girls of Pakistan and wider South Asia. We encourage participation of women from diverse South Asian backgrounds in Australia,” said Dilkie Perera.

“Rida has set a high standard for the future participants of Miss South Asia Australia Miss Community,” said Savindhi Perera-Jain.

From D.G Khan to Miss South Asia Australia Miss Community- Journey of a Saraiki-speaking Baloch Girl

“There were only 29 girls in the pageant, and I was the only Pakistani. From the last three years, Indian participants were winning as there is high participation from both Indian and Sri Lankan women. So, I was nervous as I had never done a beauty pageant before”, said Rida.

“I wore hijab with my evening gown and proudly wore Balochi Dooch and Saraiki Ajrak representing my Saraiki-Baloch background”, shared Rida.

“Participants in the pageant had never met a Baloch nor heard of the Saraiki community. But now everyone wants to visit Pakistan and explore the rich heritage that is a home of diverse cultures.”

Dilkie Perera says, “It is important to have a friendly relationship within the South Asiancommunity. Our pageant winners are a great opportunity for governments of Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the likesto promote tourism to our Australian friends. South Asian tourism will help recover any loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

From D.G Khan to Miss South Asia Australia Miss Community- Journey of a Saraiki-speaking Baloch Girl
Rida in her Miss Diamond Australia International Finalist sash and tiara, wearing Blue Gown and knotted hijab to support Blue Knot Foundation.
Photographer: Reza Zamani

Rida is also a recipient of Sir John Monash High Commendation Award for Youth Leadership in 2018. She is the Youth Chair of Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia and a finalist in Miss Diamond Australia International 2021. She encourages everyone to support her charity Blue Knot Foundation which supports adult survivors of child sexual abuse and complex trauma. For more information on Rida’s work, visit: https://ridaaleemkhan.com/.

Visit Blue Knot Foundation: https://www.blueknot.org.au/

Donate to the charity: https://chuffed.org/project/support-rida-on-her-quest-to-raise-funds-for-blue-knot-foundation

To participate in Miss South Asia Australia, visit: https://www.facebook.com/msaapageant/

To participate in Miss Diamond Australia International Beauty Pageant visit: https://www.missdiamondaustralia.com/

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