1: Tell us a bit about yourself and background.
My name is Dr. Kapotaqkhy Chanchala. In the early days of my life, I faced the absence of maternal care as my mother was bedridden for a prolonged period of three years. During this time, it was my caring father and a supportive uncle who assumed full responsibility for my well-being. I attribute my educational foundation to Nasra School at Soldier Bazar, Karachi, where I was nurtured to successfully complete my Secondary Level studies following the Aga Khan educational curriculum.
Subsequently, I pursued my education at Aga Khan Higher Secondary School in Karimabad, Karachi, achieving my Higher Secondary Certificate. For my medical studies, I enrolled at Liaquat National Medical College. Before embarking on my professional journey, I underwent training in various disciplines. As a medical practitioner, I have served in several hospitals, with my current affiliation being with Liaquat National Hospital in Karachi.
Through interactions with patients and their caregivers, I gained insight into the trials of humanity. I realized that in addition to medical care, genuine recovery often necessitated emotional support and mental well-being. I observed with a heavy heart my mother’s struggle between life and death while confined to a hospital bed. However, I was struck by a glimmer of joy that appeared on her weary face when I presented her with my first salary. A mother’s love knows no bounds; its stature is unmatched. While she may have departed from this world, what she left behind profoundly impacted my conscience. I cannot ignore that my mother did not succumb solely to her illness; rather, she fell victim to hospital-acquired pneumonia. Who can be held responsible for this unfortunate turn of events? Certainly, patients do not visit hospitals with the intention of contracting new infections, especially at the expense of their hard-earned money!
2: Your name is very unique! Could you share the story behind it?
Yes, my name is Kapotaqkhy Chanchala, but most people simply refer to me as Dr. Kapo. My nickname is Dhara, which translates to “the flow of a river,” though I am scarcely recognized by this name. My name often piques curiosity due to its challenging pronunciation. I take pride in my name due to its uniqueness, and I am the sole bearer of this distinctive identity.
The credit for my name’s creation goes to my father, who devised this name with such an exclusive and poetic touch. Its rarity initially sparked resistance, even among my close relatives. My mother was no exception to this response. However, she eventually came around, and over time, others followed suit.
Allow me to now shift my focus to the backstory. On a fine morning, my paternal aunt engaged in a conversation with my father, and the topic of my name emerged. In a moment of contemplation, my father forthrightly presented his idea, which instantly resonated with my aunt. People often inquire about the origin of such distinctive terms. In truth, it is a fusion of two Bengali words: “Kapot” (pigeon) + “Aqkhy” (eyes), and the additional word “Chanchala,” which means a dynamic female. It’s undeniable that pigeon’s eyes are both beautiful and lively. My father, with his poetic finesse, ingeniously merged these qualities to define me. It is truly fantastic and unforgettable.
Within academic institutions, my name often stirred conversation. I found myself having to provide explanations, after which they would conclude with words like, “A truly remarkable poetic expression, indeed!”
Even when I visit Pakistan’s government offices such as NADRA (National Database & Registration Authority), the passport office, immigration counters, air ticketing counters, and other places, I consistently engage with their curiosity. This interaction brings a sense of satisfaction. Invariably, these encounters lead to friendly exchanges. Hip hip hooray for the name! I am fortunate to have my father’s unique choice. I am thoroughly content with it.
3: Why did you want to be a part of the Miss Pakistan Pageant?
Women are often regarded as symbols of beauty, an attribute they consider a valuable asset. This perception fuels their conscientious efforts towards maintaining it. The scenario might have been different had male counterparts shown indifference towards this aspect. Women wholeheartedly invest in making themselves presentable, and it’s this pursuit that sparks the interest of many in becoming pageant contestants. I am a woman, and I am no exception. If others can pursue their aspirations, why shouldn’t I? This determination fosters my insistence and boosts my confidence. Thus, I resolved to push myself to the fullest extent possible.
From the outset, I embraced challenges and never looked back. I actively engaged in various extracurricular activities, consistently leaving a commendable mark.
Miss Pakistan can provide me with a platform to amplify my voice against the myriad challenges our society currently confronts. These issues span from natural disasters and health-related concerns to social taboos and economic inequalities within our society. Given my medical background, I have ventured into several remote corners of Pakistan for philanthropic purposes, witnessing firsthand the deprivation that many endure, particularly in terms of their healthcare needs. I aspire to vocalize my suggestions for addressing these monumental challenges.
Pakistan boasts a rich and captivating culture, one I fervently wish to showcase on a global scale. This platform offers me the opportunity to do just that. The allure of the glamour world has held a powerful draw for me since childhood. This is why I aspire to partake in this pageant, not just for personal achievement, but also to demonstrate to the youth that confidence and self-belief are pivotal ingredients for success and effecting positive change within our society.
4: What encouraged you to do the pageant?
I observe mountaineers embarking on journeys through rugged terrains and divers plunging into the abyssal ocean. The question arises: Why do they undertake these feats? This query ignites a sense of determination within me, urging me to embrace challenges wholeheartedly.
International pageant winners have continually captivated me with their tales of triumph, capturing my attention time and again. As time progressed, I grew acquainted with their philanthropic endeavors and contributions to alleviate human suffering and enhance society. These stories resonated deeply with me and served as a wellspring of inspiration. I consistently pondered whether Pakistan offered a similar platform. During my online explorations, I stumbled upon the Miss Pakistan World Pageant, although at that juncture, only overseas Pakistanis could partake. I silently searched for a venue to satiate my inner yearning.
Later, I came across the Miss Pakistan Pageant officially commencing in Pakistan. I encountered individuals like Dr. Shafaq Akhtar and others who were representing Pakistan on the international stage. Witnessing their accomplishments bolstered my self-assurance, and I became certain that this was the platform I had been seeking. I acknowledge that success cannot be attained through mere wishful thinking; it demands dedication and persistent effort. My journey is underway.
5: You are a doctor, can you let us know what your practice is?
Indeed, I am a physician, dedicated to the service of suffering humanity. It is often regarded as a noble undertaking, intrinsically linked to ethics and morality. As a newcomer to this field, I have encountered a surprising abundance of individuals attempting to mislead me. However, my conscience remains clear; I am resolute in knowing what is right. My commitment lies in earnestly attending to patients’ needs, coupled with sincere diagnosis and the provision of essential guidance. These elements are my utmost priority.
I approach every patient with unwavering diligence, regardless of the severity of their condition. At times, I extend my services free of charge to underprivileged patients, guided by the principle that no one should be deprived of medical treatment due to financial constraints. My moral compass dictates that monetary limitations should not hinder the pursuit of medical care. I am cognizant that no act of sacrifice goes unrewarded.
Previously, I worked at a few private hospitals where the workload was substantial. However, I embraced this challenge willingly. At certain hospitals, I assumed a multifaceted role, effectively managing various sections singlehandedly. Primarily, I worked within the Departments of Pediatrics and Accident & Emergency, among other areas. I advocate for the judicious use of medicine and restrain the indiscriminate application of antibiotics, understanding the implications associated with their misuse.
Presently, I am serving as a Medical Officer at Liaquat National Hospital, yet my focus is firmly set on the field of surgery. I am diligently preparing to take my first steps on this journey.
6: What advice do you have for people in your profession who want to be part of beauty pageants?
Women are often heralded as symbols of beauty, a statement that carries a positive connotation. However, the question arises: Where does beauty truly reside? Does it solely hinge on facial features? While the face is undeniably influential, it does not encompass the entirety of beauty. In reality, beauty is an amalgamation of various qualities, even those that may be concealed. If a woman possesses the trait of being a doctor, it speaks volumes about her character. This quality is pivotal for her overall distinction in life.
Although initial impressions may be based on appearance, the latent talents she possesses contribute to her remarkable persona. These latent qualities deserve to be showcased. The Miss Pakistan pageant, founded by Sonia Ahmed, serves as a platform for this purpose. It has launched a campaign to bestow significant recognition. Why should anyone miss out on this opportunity? I wholeheartedly encourage my fellow doctors to follow suit, to utilize the organization’s platform to fulfill their philanthropic and other aspirations. This way, the yearning to serve humanity and the nation can find fulfillment.
7: Are you excited to represent Pakistan in international pageants?
It is an inherent aspiration of everyone, particularly among the fair sex, to seek positive exposure. I am no exception. The intention is to ascend to greater heights in life. However, the question of how to achieve this looms large. When an opportunity like the Miss Pakistan Pageant presents itself, and I realize that I have the privilege to represent my country on international platforms, I am filled with profound excitement. The prospect of fulfilling my inner yearnings in such a significant manner is truly overwhelming, bringing me immense joy.
Rest assured, I remain steadfast in upholding the oath I took on the day of my graduation – a pledge to serve my nation. I have witnessed non-functional health centers in many remote areas, crippled by a lack of funds, medical professionals, or corruption. I am committed to rendering these facilities operational and raising funds to establish new ones in regions where healthcare services are virtually absent. Furthermore, I intend to raise awareness about healthy lifestyles, counseling individuals to adopt preventive measures against various diseases, as prevention is preferable to cure.
My efforts will also extend to advocating for human rights, particularly women’s rights in rural areas, and striving to eliminate gender discrimination. Additionally, I will endeavor to bolster tourism in the country, thereby enhancing the nation’s economy and providing opportunities for local communities. I will champion campaigns to preserve nature through modest lifestyle adjustments and tree planting, empowering individuals to reduce pollution and combat environmental issues like global warming. I am confident that these collective endeavors will contribute to making Pakistan a more conducive place to live, enhancing its reputation globally. Through these initiatives, Pakistan will be better represented in international pageants.