IMPHAL, Nov 3 - College girl Merlyn Ningmuanching has won the Miss Kut 2019 title and received a cheque for Rs 1 lakh in the beauty pageant held as part of the Kut Festival, the annual post-harvest carnival of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribes of Manipur. The pageant was held on the parade ground of the 1st Battalion of Manipur Rifles here on Friday evening.
Altogether 21 girls from different communities participated in the pageant. Manipur is home to 36 ethnic communities.
Nineteen-year-old Merlyn was crowned Miss Kut by Water Resources Minister Letpao Haokip, who also holds the Youth Affairs and Sports portfolio. The crown was presented to her by Miss Kut 2018 title holder, Nengneihoi Haokip.
Merlyn, who loves travelling and singing, is studying BA at Manipur College, Imphal. The first and second runner-up titles went to Lhingneihoi Thadou (20) of Motbung, Kangpokpi, and AR Mathing (24) of Ukhrul, respectively. Five other contestants also received cash prizes.
The Miss Kut contest, which has been held every year during the Kut Festival for the last 40 years, is a major crowd attraction.
Earlier, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar, MLA Y Surchandra and other officials attended the evening function of the Kut Festival on Friday.