FORDS, NJ—Madhu Valli of Virginia won the Miss India USA title and Sarita Pattnaik of Georgia was crowned as Mrs. India USA. The Miss Teen India USA title went to Rhea Manjrekar of New York. The pageant was held in Fords, NJ on Dec. 18. A total of 52 contestants from around the country participated in the national pageant.
“As every year, the event was full of glamour and talent. This year particularly, talent of the contestants was outstanding. Teen contestants did a spectacular presentation of their talents. Contestants from Miss category had varied talents and their presentation was simply splendid,” said Namita Dodwadkar, the first Mrs. India USA and co-host of this year’s pageant.
She said these talents ranged from dancing, singing, cooking, inspirational talk, poetry, drama, etc.
“Main night of the event was a star studded night where Aryan Vaid (actor/model) along with Deepak Chopra (creative director of TV awards shows) were seen. It is just heartwarming to see so many extremely talented and smart individuals on the same platform representing Indian culture,” Dodwadkar said.
The winners of 2016 titles are:
Miss India USA 2016: Madhu Valli from Virginia.
Mrs. India USA 2016: Mrs. Sarita Pattnaik from Georgia.
Miss Teen India USA 2016: Rhea Manjrekar from New York.
Winners of the India USA pageants will go onto the India Worldwide competition, which will be held in Mumbai next year.
Dodwadkar served as a special guest for talent night that was held on Dec. 17th. On Sunday, Dec 18th, Dodwadkar co-hosted along with Bollywood celebrity Aryan Vaid and Miss India Trinidad Anuradha.
“This was a very different role for me, of hosting and coordinating, I got to see the other side of the picture,” Dodwadkar said. “It definitely brought nostalgia from when I had competed in the National pageant. I love to stay involved with pageantry since it has given me great exposure and a position where I can make a difference. I have and will continue to contribute in any way I can to support women from all walks of life.”
The pageant is organized and hosted by Dharmatma Saram, founder and president of the India USA pageant. In an earlier interview, Saran had said that of all the competitions, Mrs. India USA, which was started only two years ago, is growing the fastest.
“Mrs. India USA was first started in 2014 and it was my honor to be crowned as the First Mrs. India USA then. Since I was crowned, my goal has been to spread awareness of this unique platform and motivate married women to continue to chase their dreams,” said Dodwadkar. “The contestants in the Mrs. Category bring immense variety to the show. Each one has their unique story and journey to this coveted platform. It gives me immense pleasure to see that the participation in this category has been increasing ever year.”