Indian American teenager Aarya Walvekar from Virginia has been crowned Miss India USA 2022 at the annual pageant held in New Jersey.After winning the pageant, the 18-year-old shared that she aspires to be an actor. "It has been my childhood dream to see myself on the silver screen and work in films and TV," Walvekar said. Her hobbies include exploring new places, cooking and debating, she added.
The Bollywood fan also shared on Instagram that she got the opportunity to showcase herself in front of leading playback singers from the 80s and 90s. "It was an honor to open the show for Bollywood legends Kumar Saanu, Alka Yagnik, and Udit Narayan. Forever grateful," she wrote.
Saumya Sharma, a second-year premedical student at the University of Virginia, was declared first runner up and Sanjana Chekuri of New Jersey was the second runner up.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the pageant which is the longest running Indian pageant outside of India. It was started by New York-based Indian- Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants.
"I am very much thankful to Indian community around the world for their support over the years," Dharmatma Saran, Founder and Chairman of Worldwide Pageants said.
Akshi Jain of Washington State was crowned Mrs India USA and Tanvi Grover of New York was crowned as Miss Teen India USA.
In all, 74 contestants representing 30 states participated in three different pageants -Miss India USA, Mrs. India USA and Miss Teen India USA.
Winners of all three categories received complimentary tickets to Mumbai early next year to take part in Worldwide Pageants organised by the same group. Winners of all three categories receive complimentary tickets to Mumbai early next year to take part in Worldwide Pageants organised by the same group.
(With inputs from PTI)Read more: Karnataka's Sini Shetty is Miss India 2022