Washington: Pranathy Gangaraju of Georgia was crowned Miss India USA 2014, which is the oldest running Indian pageant outside of India.
Pranathy, 19, is a student majoring in film acting and production, a media release said. Her hobbies include dancing, singing, writing and swimming, a media release said. At the 33rd annual pageant on Sunday, which was organised by the New York-based IFC, headed by Dharmatma Saran, Pranthy was crowned by outgoing queen Monica Gill.
Pranathy will represent USA in the Twenty Fourth Annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant, also organised 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. Riya Kaur from New Jersey was crowned Miss Teen India USA and Namita Dodwadkar of Massachuseets was also crowned the First Ever Mrs India USA in the same pageant.
Miss India USA and Miss India Worldwide, which started with about 20 people in the basement of the Air India office in New York in 1980, has now become a global phenomenon. In 1990, Saran decided to take the pageant one step further to an international level and started The First Miss India Worldwide Pageant.
The contestants in all the Miss India pageants are of Indian origin, between the ages of 17 and 27, never married, and are citizens, residents, or born in the country which they represent. The pageant consists of four segments — Evening Gown, Indian Dress, Talent and Question-Answer. The winners of all the various national pageants from all over the world vie for the glamorous and prestigious title of the Miss India Worldwide.