Life is one mix of beautiful colours for Dr.Nisha the reigning Miss Malaysia Earth

When she is not busy serving patients in the hospital she works in, Dr Nisha Thayananthan is also a beauty queen who loves doing voluntary work and protecting the environment. The beaches in Malaysia are the best, she says.

PETALING JAYA: Life is pretty much a colourful one for Dr. Nisha Thayananthan, who is a contract doctor with a local hospital, a reigning beauty queen and a voluntary worker who often spends her free time on charitable causes, and still finding the time to help out at her mother’s nursing home occasionally.

While the Covid-19 pandemic might have changed her usual routine upside down, “it is nothing really considering the pandemic and the devastating effects it has had on everyone,” she tells Weekly Echo during a recent interview.

“There was a sense of heavy responsibility when I had to help out at the Covid-19 ward at the height of the pandemic. All of us had were deployed for a period of two months at the ward as our medical staff were stretched and the number of patients increased. We helped out at the ward,” said Nisha, who is with surgery department in the same hospital.

“It was overwhelming at some point, we could not see family members due to our exposure at the hospital and we could not really go out, but my family kept in touch via the phone and gave me the emotional support I needed.

“While the fear of burnout was there, as we had to skip meals at times and lose out on sleep, it was nothing compared to seeing patients who were suffering or getting worse.

“Some days I had to call family members to inform them that their father or mother were not doing well and tried to arrange for video calls.”

Those were the sad moments, but there was also a sense of fulfillment and comradeship as  the frontliners who were helping out in the country’s hour of need to flatten the curve of the virus infection, Nisha, who was off for the day, said.

What is next for Nisha, who is the current Miss Earth Malaysia?

“I am going to prepare for the Miss Earth World finals in Philippines later this year, but I am also looking forward to launching my own brand of sanitary pad.”

Sanitary pad? Yes, she says, loud and clear.

“Yes, it is an uncomfortable subject but it is an important matter. When I was studying in the Sarawak University, I lived for a short while in a long house and saw the difficulties women had when they were menstruating but had no modern sanitary napkins and had to rely on traditional ways of taking care of themselves.

“I did my very own research, and came up with a pad that is environmentally friendly as it is biodegradable within 216 hours unlike the normal pads that can take from 800 years to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

“The conventional pads also contribute to plastic pollution and taking care of the environment is something I really want to contribute to.”

Nisha said she started working on the idea of sanitary napkins when she came back to Kuala Lumpur.

She also hopes to tie up companies to provide free sanitary napkins to those living in welfare and nursing homes once her brand of sanitary napkins is launched, later in October.

With so many things going on, how does she find the time to help at her mother’s nursing home in Petaling Jaya?

“During my off days. Usually, I help out with dressing wounds and stuff like that. I also teach my mother how to do some dressings.”

Asked on where she would travel once travelling is made possible, she said it would have to be within Malaysia itself and that Pulau Sipadan is one of her favourite places.

“There are so many beautiful places, especially hidden ones, in Malaysia. I would like to explore these places and I think it would also support local tourism.”