Ex-Indian Idol Prashant Tamang is Nepal’s new ambassador

September 30th, 2010 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Sep 30 (IANS) After Indian cricket icon Sunil Gavaskar, Nepal has roped in former Indian Idol winner — and the pride of Nepalis — Darjeeling boy Prashant Tamang to promote tourism and help draw 1 million visitors to the country next year.

From being a sepoy in the Kolkata Police force in West Bengal state, the 27-year-old of Nepali origin became a household name in India as well as Nepal after winning the third edition of the reality show in 2008 by polling an unprecedented 70 million votes.

Prashant now joins Miss Nepal 2010 Sadichhya Shrestha and Khagendra Thapa Magar, the smallest teen in the world at 22 inches, to become an ambassador of the Nepal Tourism Board.

Prashant owed his victory in 2008 partly to the overwhelming support he received from Nepal where clubs raised money to send members across the border to India and send SMS votes.

He was given a rousing welcome during his visit to Nepal by then prime minister of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala himself who called him a bridge of friendship between Nepal and India.

Prashant is now set to create a niche for himself in Nepal’s film industry where he made his debut as an actor by playing a Gorkha soldier in the film “Gorkha Paltan” that is yet to be released.

This month, he was signed up to play the lead in another Nepali film, “Kino maya ma”.

Nepal is set to usher in 2011 as Nepal Tourism Year and has initiated several measures, including opening new trekking routes and boosting home stay in villages, to bring 1 million tourists next year.

The Nepal Tourism Board said it will officially appoint Prashant a “Goodwill ambassador of Nepal Tourism Year 2011″ Friday.

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