FORDS, NJ—Twenty-two-year old Shree Saini from the state of Washington was crowned Miss India Worldwide while Mandeep Kaur Sandhu from Mumbai won the Mrs. India Worldwide title on Friday.
The international Indian beauty pageant, organized annually by Mr. Dharmatma Saran and his wife Neelam Saran, was hosted this year by Massachusetts native and Bollywood actress Monica Gill. Ms. Hill is also the holder of past Miss India USA and Miss India Worldwide titles.
Miss Saini started her non-profit organization at the age of 15 in response to the injustices she saw in the world and her own personal life struggles. She needed a pacemaker at the age of 12 and told she could never live a normal life but she persevered and is a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Mr. Saran told INDIA New England News.
Miss Saini has balanced this while being a full time college student. She has studied at Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University and now is finishing up at the prestigious University of Washington.
“This year we did not get enough contestants here because of visa issues, but the quality of participants has improved tremendously in recent years,” Mr. Saran told INDIA New England News. “In 2019, we will host the event in Mumbai on Sept. 7 to avoid the visa challenges.”
Mr. Saran said that in the 2018 pageant, which was held last Friday at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, NJ, contestants from 17 countries participated for the Miss India Worldwide title and from 10 countries for the Mrs. India Worldwide. This marked the 27th anniversary of Miss India Worldwide pageant and the 3rd for Mrs. India Worldwide.
First runner up in Miss India Worldwide 2018 was Sakshi Sinha from Australia and the second runner up was Anusha Sareen from England. Miss Saini, who won the title of Miss India Worldwide, hails from Washington state in the United States and held the title of Miss India USA.
In the Mrs. India Worldwide category, the title went to Mandeep Kaur Sandhu from India. The first runner up in this category was Jeya Priya Pandian of Malaysia and second runner up was Kavita Malhotra Pattani from the United States.
Mrs. Sandhu, the winner of Mrs. India Worldwide title, is a 5 time National Award winning Gold Medalist in Yoga. Being a Yoga practitioner for years, she now teaches Yoga in Mumbai under her own Studio. Mrs. Sandhu, who lost husband within 11 months of marriage, has a son and she decided that she will never get married and raise her son.