Aarya Walvekar, a teenager from Virginia, crowned Miss India USA

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

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

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

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

Read: Vaidehi Dongre crowned “Miss India USA 2021” (July 21, 2021)

“Filled with nervousness and excitement, I walked into this weekend not knowing what to expect,” she wrote on Instagram. “However, I left this weekend with a national crown, a precious pageant brotherhood and tons of gratitude in my heart.”

Saumya Sharma, a second-year pre-med 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 from Washington was crowned Mrs India USA and Tanvi Grover from New York was crowned Miss Teen India USA. India’s oldest pageant outside India was launched by New York-based Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants.

Walvekar represented Washington D.C. in the pageant 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 free tickets to Mumbai early next year to compete in international competitions.

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’s “a passionate advocate for mental health and positive body health with every waist move,” according to the team’s website.

She’s created various awareness campaigns, the website says, adding that she’s also spoken at a TEDx event on “Rethinking Health.”

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

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

Additionally, she “enjoys doing yoga, cooking for friends and family, and spending time with her younger sister,” the website says.

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