Twenty-five-year-old Vaidehi Dongre from Michigan was crowned Miss India USA 2021, while Arshi Lalani from Georgia was declared the first runner-up at the beauty pageant.
Dongre, a graduate from the University of Michigan, majoring in International Studies, works as a business development manager with a major corporation.
Announcing the news, Dongre took to her Instagram page to share a few pictures of her with the crown along with a long message on what winning the crown means to her.
“I want to leave a positive lasting impact on my community and focus on women’s financial independence and literacy,” Vaidehi said in the post.
“The Miss India USA pageants have always provided a platform to empower and encourage women of Indian origin. As a little girl having been born in India and raised in the US, I have always straddled the line between Indian and American culture and values and discovered all the amazing gifts that both have to offer,” she wrote in the post.
“I believe that the Miss India USA platform will give me the confidence and resources to further my goals, and leave a positive lasting impact on my community,” she added.
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Dongre also won the ‘Miss Talented’ award for her flawless performance of Indian classical dance Kathak.
As many as 61 contestants from 30 States participated in three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Winners of all three categories get complimentary tickets to Mumbai to take part in worldwide pageants.
Spearheaded around 40 years ago by New York-based eminent Indian-Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran, Miss India USA is the longest-running Indian pageant outside India.