Madhu, 19, is from Virginia is a budding hip hop artist. She is studying music and communication at George Mason University. She aspires to make it big in music and has 14 different singles to her credit. Mrs. India USA, Sarita Pattnaik from Georgia is an interior designer by profession and mother of two kids. She wants to be a social activist and become a voice for women’s empowerment. Rhea Manjrekar from New York was crowned Miss Teen India USA. Rhea loves to work for homeless children and has raised over USD 50,000 in last two years for the cause. Madhu and Sarita will represent USA in the Miss & Mrs. India Worldwide 2017. The three won the crowns out of 52 finalists from all over USA. The annual pageant which also celebrated thirty fifth anniversary of Miss India USA was held in Fords, New Jersey.
In Miss section Sania Laraib from North Carolina and Riya Kaur from New York were declared Fist and Second Runner Up respectively. In Mrs. section Nishtha Chadda from New York and Shamita Behl from Massachusetts were declared First and second runner up respectively. In the Teen section Crystal favorite from Georgia and Esha Kode from New Jersey were declared first and second runner up respectively.
The pageant started with a stunning performance by all the contestants led by the outgoing queens Karina Kohli, Neha Multani Verma & Aanchal Shah choreographed by Shilpa Jhurani. All contestants presented their best in the Indian and the Evening Gown segment after which the top ten were selected. The top ten contestants from Miss section then amazed the audience with their talent which included
Bollywood dances, Indian classical dances, singing and karate. In the Miss section Pushkara Chaganti from Washington State and in Teen section Rhea Manjrekar from New York were awarded Miss Talented.
Dharmatma Saran, Chairman & Founder, presented an appreciation plaque to Mr. H. R. Shah, Mr. Albert Jasani, Mr. Sunil Easo, Ms Nishi Bahl and Shilpa Jhurani for their support in organizing this year pageant. “I am very thankful to the Indian community for its support through the years,” said Dharmatma Saran, “and especially thankful to H.R. Shah and Albert Jasani for supporting the pageant.” Sonny Molu, state director of Georgia Area won State Director of The Year award and was also presented a plaque.
Aryan Vaid – Bollywood and TV actor, Namita Dodwadkar – Mrs. India Worldwide 2016 and Anuradha Maharaj – former Miss India Trinidad were emcees for the function and Nishi Bahl was the choreographer assisted by Shilpa Jhurani.
The panel of judges included Ms. Vandana Sharma – General manager Americas of Air India, Lalit K. Jha – Bureau Chief of PTI in USA, Deepak Chopra – Creative Director from Mumbai, Ruchi Prasad an IT professional and Alesha Mills a stylist. The crowning was followed by a lavish dinner and dance.
Tabulation was done by Nilesh Choksi CPA assisted by Nandish Desai.
Photo courtesy of Suresh Jilla