Virginia teenager Aarya Walvekar crowned Miss India USA

Saumya Sharma and Sanjana Chekuri were first and second runners-up at the 40th edition of the pageant

Virginia teenager Aarya Walvekar has been crowned Miss India USA 2022 at a glittering pageant at the Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, New Jersey.

After winning the 40th edition of the pageant on Aug 5, Walvekar took to Instagram to share her thoughts. “The feelings I’m experiencing are indescribable,” she wrote.” “I have never been filled with this much gratitude in my life.”

“I understand that this title is not just a crown, it is a duty, a responsibility. I plan on taking advantage of this amazing platform to spread love, positivity, and awareness.”

Read: Vaidehi Dongre crowned ‘Miss India USA 2021’ (July 21, 2021)

“Filled with nervousness and excitement, I entered this weekend with no idea what to expect,” she wrote on Instagram. “However I left this weekend with a national crown, a precious pageant sisterhood, and tons of gratitude in my heart.”

Saumya Sharma, a second-year premedical student at the University of Virginia, was declared the first runner-up and Sanjana Chekuri of New Jersey was the second runner up.

Akshi Jain of Washington was crowned Mrs India USA and Tanvi Grover of New York was crowned Miss Teen India USA. The longest-running Indian pageant outside of India was started by New York-based Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants.

Walvekar represented Washington DC at the contest which saw 74 contestants representing 30 states for three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Winners of all three categories receive complimentary tickets to Mumbai early next year to take part in worldwide pageants.

Walvekar, 18, an aspiring actress, is a senior at Briar Woods High School in Virginia. A member of the school’s TEDx Talks team, she is “a passionate advocate for Mental Health and Body Positivity Health at Every Size Movement,” according to the team website.

She has created various awareness campaigns, the website said, adding that she has also spoken at a TEDx event on “Rethinking ‘Healthy.”

Read: Who is Aarya Walvekar? Crowned As Miss India USA 2022 (August 9, 2022)

She also participates in school and community theater and volunteered as a director for local kids’ plays. She is the founder of Euphoria Dance Studio — a small business that provides affordable dance lessons to local children.

Additionally, she “loves to do yoga, cook for her friends and family, and spend time with her younger sister,” the website says.

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