Indian-American Madhu Valli, an emerging hip hop artist and a student of criminal law at George Mason University in Virginia, has been crowned Miss India Worldwide 2017. This year the pageant was held in Fords, New Jersey, Oct.8.
“I want to be the next biggest bridge between Bollywood and Hollywood,” Valli, 20, told Press Trust of India the day after she won the pageant.
Her latest album was released a day before the pageant and her dream is to be a recording artist as music has always been her passion and she started learning vocals at age eight.
The beauty pageant attracts entrants of Indian origin from across the world, organizers say.. It is yet another forum for Indian living abroad to showcase how they have preserved Indian culture thousands of miles away from their original homeland, organizers believe. This year there were 18 participants
“I definitely want to speak to a lot of young Indian-American women about women empowerment and positive self-image,” Valli is quoted saying. “I love both my countries, India and the U.S. and I always wanted to discover a way to be a leader in both!” she added.
Stephanie Madavane from France won second place and Sangeeta Bahadur from Guyana won third place at the pageant.
Another Indian-American, Sarita Pattnaik, an interior designer from Texas, was declared Mrs. India Worldwide; the mother of two, said she wants to be a social activist and become a voice for women’s empowerment.
Miss India Worldwide is organized by the New York-based India Festival Committee. The IFC claims the event is considered among the top ethnic pageants in the world, and that it is the only international Indian pageant that covers more than 35 countries.