Life is seldom a bed of roses, but neither is it full of thorns. For Manya Singh, it’s the silver lining at the end of the cloud as she is crowned this year’s Miss India runner up. The 19-year-old, who believes in scripting her destiny, is the daughter of an autorickshaw driver from Uttar Pradesh.
According to Manya, her childhood was riddled with hardship. She had to face prejudice for being an auto driver’s daughter and was often ostracised by her classmates. According to Manya, she had struggled at being termed “not good looking” during her childhood and was “disregarded for not being able to speak fluently like others”.
The organisation behind Femina Miss India shared a note written by the Miss India Runner-up in December 2020. Manya said, “I’ve spent numerous nights without food and sleep. I’ve spent many afternoons walking for miles on end. My blood, sweat, and tears have amalgamated into the courage to pursue my dreams. Being a rickshaw driver’s daughter, I never had the opportunity to attend school, as I had to start working in my teens. All the clothes I had were hand-me-downs. I yearned for books, but luck wasn’t in my favour.”
Manya, who hopes to inspire others by using the platform provided by Miss India to talk about her journey, went on to write, “Eventually, my parents mortgaged whatever little jewellery my mother had to ensure that I paid my exam fees to earn a degree. My mother had suffered a lot to provide for me. At 14, I ran away from home. I somehow managed to complete my studies in the day, became a dishwasher in the evening and worked at a call centre at night. I’ve walked hours to reach places so I could save rickshaw fare.”
Talking about her motivation behind participating in Miss India 2020, she said, “I am here today at the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 stage to uplift my father, my mother, and my younger brother and to show the world that all is possible if you are committed to yourself and your dreams.”
According to a report, Manya plans to help her family with the prize money and wishes to continue modelling. Manya is also preparing to pursue Management Studies as she believes education is the ‘strongest weapon.’
On Wednesday, the official Instagram page of Miss India shared the winners’ photo and wrote, “Presenting together for the first time, our Top 3 Winners at VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 co-powered by Sephora & Roposo — Manasa Varanasi, VLCC Femina Miss India World 2020; Manika Sheokand, VLCC Femina Miss Grand India 2020; and Manya Singh, VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 Runner-up. We’re so honoured to have had the opportunity to see you blossom throughout your pageant journey. We wish you the best for all the adventures that lay ahead. Congratulations.”
The event, which was held in Mumbai, was judged by fashion designer Falguni Shane Peacock, actors Neha Dhupia, Chitrangada Singh and Pulkit Samrat. Popular television personality Aparshakti Khurana hosted the event. While Manasa Varanasi from Telangana won the title of VLCC Femina Miss India World, Chandigarh native Manika Sheokand was declared VLCC Femina Miss Grand India 2020.