Atlanta, GA: In a glittering function organized on December 14 at the Royal Albert’s Palace, Fords, New Jersey, Pranathy Gangaraju of Georgia was crowned Miss India USA 2014. Miss India USA is the oldest running Indian pageant outside of India. The thirty third annual pageant was organized by the New York-based IFC, headed by Dharmatma Saran, Founder and the Chief Organizer of the Pageant.
Riya Kaur from New Jersey was crowned Miss Teen India USA and Namita Dodwadkar of Massachusetts was also crowned the First Ever Mrs. India USA in the same pageant.
Pranathy, 19, is a student majoring in Film Acting and Production. Her hobbies include dancing, singing, writing and swimming. She was crowned by outgoing queen Monica Gill. Pranathy will represent USA in the Twenty Fourth Annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant, also organized by IFC, to be held in Goa,India in June of 2016.
Monica Shah, 24, of Florida and Angela Nand, 27, of Hawaii, were respectively declared first and second runners up among 21 contestants from various parts of the country, in the gala event attended by over five hundred people. The other two five finalists were Nisha Kamaldani from New Jersey and Shivali Marwaha fromVirginia.
Riya, 15, is fromNew Jerseyand she would like to become an actress or a doctor. She was crowned Miss Teen India USA among eighteen other contestants. The first runner up in Teen was Karishma Malhotra, 15, fromNew Yorkand the second runner up is Harika Talluri, 16, fromNew Hampshire. The other two finalists were Shavi Sikaria fromWashingtonStateand Nicky Kandola fromVirginia. The sub contest winners in Teen section were – Karishma Malhotra fromNew York– Miss Talented, Harika Talluri fromNew Hampshire– Miss Photogenic, Nidhi Patel ofGeorgia– Miss Congeniality and Akila Narayanan ofMassachusetts– Miss Facebook.
The First Ever Mrs. India USA is Namita Dodwadkar, 28, is a Senior Scientist at Novartis and holds a Ph. D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Namita’s hobbies include modeling, Latin and Bollywood dancing and teaching. The first runner up is Sheetal Kelkar, 35, fromNew Hampshireand the second runner up is Rupal Patel, 25, fromNew York. The other two top five finalists were Rakashi Chand fromMassachusettsand Tapasya Srivastava , also fromMassachusetts. The sub contest winners in Mrs. Section were Namita Dodwadkar fromMassachusetts– Miss Photogenic, Purvi Ragoowansi ofNew Jersey– Miss Congeniality and Geet Kaur ofWashingtonState– Miss Facebook.
The pageant started with a stunning performance by all the contestants led by the outgoing queen Monica Gill choreographed by Shilpa Jhurani. All contestants presented their best in the Indian and the Evening Gown segment after which the top ten were selected. The top ten contestants from Miss section then amazed the audience with their talent which included Bollywood dances, Indian classical dances, singing and karate. In the Miss section Amritha Mangalat from New Hampshire was awarded Miss Talented. Winners of the other various sub-contests were Aamy Kuldip of Illinois – Miss Photogenic, Nandini Aiyer of New York – Miss Beautiful Eyes, Rupinder Raj of New York – Miss Beautiful Skin, Nisha Kamaldani of New Jersey – Miss Beautiful Hair, Angela Nand of Hawaii – Miss Congeniality, Pranathy Gangaraju from Georgia – Miss Beautiful
Smile, Monica Shah of Florida – Miss Bollywood Diva, Angela Nand of Hawaii – Miss Catwalk, Nandini Aiyer – Miss Facebook and Angela Suresh of Washington State – Miss Popularity.
Dharmatma Saran, Chairman & Founder, presented an appreciation plaque to Mr. H. R. Shah, Mr. Albert Jasani, Mr. Satya Shaw, Ms Nishi Bahl and Shilpa Jhurani for their support in organizing this year pageant. “I am very thankful to the Indian community for its support through the years,” said Dharmatma Saran, “and especially thankful to H.R. Shah and Albert Jasani for supporting the pageant.”
Stacy Issac – Miss India USA 2001 and Roshi George – Miss FOKANA were emcees for the function and Nishi Bahl dwas the choreographer.
The panel of judges included Dr. Ravi Jhagirdar – President of AAPI, Satya Shaw a cultural activist from Florida, Dr. Binod Sinha – a medical doctor from Edison, Susmita Patel – celebrity make up artist and Ines Hernandez a fashion designer from Dominican Republic. The crowning was followed by a lavish dinner and dance.