Vaidehi Dongre, born in India and raised in America, was recently crowned Miss India USA 2021. Vaidehi Dongre who is a business development manager, has dedicated her big win to her parents. “I want to leave a positive lasting impact on my community and focus on women’s financial independence and literacy,” said Dongre on winning the crown.
Dongre, who has majored in international studies from the University of Michigan, also won the ‘Miss Talented’ title in the pageant. She had given a flawless performance of Indian classical dance from Kathak, leaving many impressed.
Dongre expressed her happiness in a post on Instagram. She shared pictures from the winning moment and wrote, “Humbled & honored to represent Indian immigrants living in the US as the new Miss India USA. This journey has been a whirlwind but at the root of it I have always strived to be a role model for young girls, celebrate my rich South Asian heritage and leave a lasting positive impact on my community. #MissIndiaUSA2021 Next up, Miss India Worldwide!”
She also dedicated the post to her parents and added, “-Aai and Baba- the values you inculcated in me and Vineet at such a young age have given me strength in times of hardship and light in times of darkness. Making sure that I learned the roots of where I come from: marathi, hindi, reading & writing, mythology, culture, food, love, spirituality, all whilst living in the US was no easy feat, thank you.”
According to reports, the former Miss World Diana Hayden was the chief guest and chief judge for the pageant. Vaidhehi was the winner among 61 contestants from 30 states participating in three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA.
Arshi Lalani from Georgia was declared the first runner-up and North Carolina’s Mira Kasari was declared the second runner-up. The winners reportedly got complimentary tickets to travel to Mumbai, India to take part in worldwide pageants.
Story first published: Thursday, July 22, 2021, 12:35 [IST]