Vaidehi Dongre, a 25-year-old Indian-American, has been crowned Miss India USA 2021 last weekend. The University of Michigan graduate who presently works as a business development manager confirmed her victory, taking to Instagram, “Humbled and honoured to represent Indian immigrants living in the US as the new Miss India USA. #MissIndiaUSA2021.”
While Vaidehi was declared the winner of Miss India USA 2021, Arshi Lalani from Georgia and Mira Kasari from North Carolina secured the first and second runner-up positions.
The beauty pageant was judged by the chief guest and chief judge, Diana Hayden, Miss World 1997.
Vaidehi’s winning title came with her flawless Kathak performance, an Indian classical dance form. Sharing her thoughts on Indian culture, she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post, “I have always strived to celebrate my rich South Asian heritage and leave a lasting positive impact on my community.”
However, it was not easy to win the crown as the pandemic has been a major challenge, said Vaidehi.
“This past year has been one of the toughest of my life, as I am sure it has been for many others. she shared how the pandemic has been a constrain and how she made it up to Miss India USA. “On a personal level, I moved back home in February of 2020 due to the pandemic and stayed to support my family through a difficult time. After a full year of deep reflection and work on myself, the Miss India Michigan pageant made me realize how much growth can come from leaning into challenges. Participating in and winning the Miss India Michigan pageant brought me a level of internal clarity and confidence that I didn’t think was possible.”
In another Instagram post, she talked about how honoured she is to represent the Indian-American community, “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 & American culture and values & discovered all the amazing gifts that both have to offer.”
“I believe that the Miss India USA platform will give me the confidence & resources to further my goals,” she added.
“Thank you to my family, friends, gurus and supporters for always showering me with so much love ️You are my eternal sunshine,” Vaidehi concluded by thanking a bunch of people, especially her mother. “Wish me luck. This one is for my Aai (Mom).”