NEW HAVEN, CT: Diva America Inc hosted the third Miss India Connecticut Pageant on September 9 in New Haven, CT, at the Shubert Theater from 4pm to 7pm with the theme “Unity in Diversity”. This year’s pageant was hosted by Gujarati Association of Connecticut. It was a sold-out event with 1,400 people attending the show. New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. extended a warm welcome to the pageant and released the souvenir brochure.
Following a V.I.P. cocktail reception, sponsored by Indian Master Chef Prasad Chirnomula, the culinary visionary and owner of Thali & Oaxaca Kitchen, attendees of the Miss India CT 2012 Pageant made their way to their seats at New Haven’s triple-tier Shubert Theater. Over the next three hours, the audience was entertained and enthralled by the talent demonstrations and colorful dresses worn by the 17 Pageant contestants, dance performances, knockout medleys from Indian Idol Mohit Lalwani and hilarious stand-up comedy from Dan Nainan.
Bollywood choreographer Rajeev Khinchi stole the show with his dramatic choreography and Bollywood dances. Shalini Madaras from Kick for Nick Foundation inspired the audience with her mission. This was all a lead-up to the grand finale.
The Miss India CT Pageant 2012 winner Ronita Choudhuri, who was also recognized as Miss Popular, will have the opportunity to travel on a chartered flight to Guatemala on September 29 as part of AmeriCares’ Airlift Benefit. The Pageant Runner-Up is Preeti Srinivasan, who was also named Miss Facebook. Other special award winners are: Aesha Patel – Miss Smile; Khushbu Amin – Miss Catwalk; Manjula Bangalore – Miss Photogenic; Mona Sheth – Miss Congeniality; Anesha Agarwal – Miss Talent; and Shayla Ranmal – Miss Best Dressed.
Miss India Connecticut is not only a beauty pageant but also a movement to bring a greater assimilation of Indian Americans with the local American community. “We believe that respecting other cultures, respecting other religions and getting respected for our own is the way to live in peace and harmony. Keeping that as a motto, the Pageant’s theme this year was set as Unity in Diversity,” said Diva America President Mrs. Anita Bhat.
Miss India Connecticut is also the first beauty pageant to introduce BMI (Body Mass Index) as one of the selection criteria for the contestants. “We believe that the Fashion Industry influences our next generation in its attitude towards health and fitness. To target the Fashion Industry, we have introduced BMI and we hope that by bringing this awareness, we can help reduce obesity, anorexia, bulimia, low self-esteem and depression amongst the next generation. If we succeed in bringing about this change in other beauty pageants, it will be historic!” Mrs. Bhat commented.
Diva has been engaging several local Indian American community groups. The Pageant was endorsed by CAPI (Connecticut Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), YMCA and GOPIO (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin) Youth Council.
Diva America’s team was proud to present a spectacular show with seven different classical dances of India simultaneously on the stage, which was a unique offering at the Pageant. All of this, in addition to the talent shows by brilliant contestants and Bollywood, folk and fusion dances by the talented local community, showcased magical India for the audience.
Michael Morand, Deputy Chief of Communication at Yale University, and celebrity TV anchor Kanika Chadda entertained the audience as Emcees. Celebrity Chef Maneet Chauhan, award-winning filmmaker Tom George Kolath, Executive Director of IAAC Aroon Shivdasani, Yale University Associate Professor Bonnie Fleming, President & CEO of AmeriCares Curt Welling, President and CEO of YMCA Greater Hartford James Morton and Ex-President of AAPI Dr. Sunita Kanumury were on the Pageant’s esteemed panel of judges.
India Post News Service