Miss India USA 2023 pageant held

The 3 winners at the Miss India USA 2023 pageant held in New Jersey, Dec. 8, 2023 – The three winners – Rijul Maini, center, Miss India USA 2023; Sneha Nambiar, right, Mrs. India USA; and Saloni Rammohan, left, Miss Teen India USA. PHOTO: Organizers of pageant.

Rijul Maini, a resident of Michigan, was crowned Miss India USA 2023 at gala event held in Fords, New Jersey December 8.  The 25 year old is a medical student, artist and a model. She is also the first Indian woman in the history of her medical school to be elected class president. Rijul plans to be a surgeon.”I want to leave a positive lasting impact on my community and focus on women’s financial independence and literacy” Rijul is quoted saying in the press release.

Sneha Nambiar from Massachusetts is crowned Mrs. India USA and Saloni Rammohan from Pennsylvania won Miss Teen India USA in the same pageant.

In the 41st year of the pageant, 57 contestants from 25 states participated in three different categories – Miss India USA, Mrs. India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Winners of all three categories gets complimentary air tickets to Mumbai to take part in worldwide pageants, also organized by the same organization, to be held in October this year.

Started by New York-based couple, Dharmatma and Neelam Saran, under the banner of Worldwide Pageants around 41 years ago, Miss India USA says it is the longes- running running Indian pageant outside of India. This year the pageant was presented by TV Asia and Royal Albert’s Palace. It was a full house show with more than 500 people in attendance.

The judging panel included Shekhar Rahate Hollywood Fashion Designer, Monica Gill – Punjabi and Bollywood actor and also Miss India Worldwide 2014, Khushi Patel – Miss India Worldwide 2022 and a model, Sarita Rinki Pattnaik – Mrs. India Worldwide 2017 and Interior Designer, and Falguni Trivedi – former Miss India New York and philanthropist. Nishi Bahl State Director of New York was awarded State Director of the Year Award.

Past winners of the pageants here have gone to act in various Bollywood and Hollywood movies and also into the business world. Bela Bajaria a former Miss India USA and Miss India Worldwide was the only Indian American along with Vice President Kamala Harris in the 100 most powerful women in the world list of Forbes Magazine this week.

The Pageant started with an opening dance number by all contestants choreographed by Shilpa Jhurani. “In addition to Bollywood dance and songs on stage, they give speeches, do motivational speaking, mono acting, sing popular American songs, hip hop, paintings” said Dharmatma Saran. Bollywood actor Abhimanyu Dassani also made an appearance as Special Guest. A highlight of the pageant was participation by 62 year Sunita Malhotra from Massachusetts in Mrs. India USA category who thrilled the audience with her Bollywood dance performance. She was awarded Mrs. People’s Choice Award.

Ayushi Chhabra – Mrs. India Nigeria 2017, and TV and Hollywood actor Anuradha Maharaj – Miss India Trinidad 2011, were emcees. Audio Visual was provided by Media Logistics. Nishi Bahl was the choreographer assisted by Shilpa Jhurani.



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