By Amit Roy
BHASHA MUKHERJEE, who won the Miss England beauty contest in July 2019, should have stepped down this summer, but her reign has been extended to the summer of 2021 because her successor could not be selected this year.
The 24-year-old is a junior doctor who was doing a tour of India as Miss England when the panemic began. Despite the ban on air travel, she somehow managed to get back to her hospital duties when the NHS appealed for all hands on deck. She has since been working tirelessly on Covid duties at Boston Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire and Derby Royal Hospital.
“It’s an honour to continue serving my country during the Covid pandemic as well as being able to do it as Miss England,” said Bhasha. “I’ve still been doing plenty of charity work remotely.
“It’s a shame the Miss England contest was postponed again but I’m delighted to be their longest serving winner.
“It’s bitter-sweet in a way as the circumstances aren’t ideal – it’s hard to celebrate when you’re seeing Covid numbers rising in your hospital. We are right next to Nottingham which has the highest rate in the country, so we have staff and patients coming between us and the hub of the virus.”
Incidentally, Bhasa follows in the footsteps of Reita Faria, the first Indian to win Miss World in 1966. She didn’t go into Bollywood but became a doctor. Reita, now 77, and her endocrinologist husband David Powell are settled in Ireland and have two children and five grandchildren.