Aarya Walvekar, an Indian American teenager from Virginia, has been crowned Miss India USA 2022 at the annual beauty pageant held in New Jersey.
Taking to Instagram, the 18-year-old wrote, “The feelings I’m experiencing are indescribable. I have never been filled with this much gratitude in my life. It is my pleasure to announce that I, Aarya Abhijit Walvekar, am your newly crowned Miss India USA 2022.”
Walvekar represented USA’s capital Washington DC at the contest which saw 74 contestants representing 30 states for three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA.
“Filled with nervousness and excitement, I entered this weekend with no idea what to expect. However I left this weekend with a national crown, a precious pageant sisterhood, and tons of gratitude in my heart,” she added.
A senior at Briar Woods High School, Aarya is the founder of Euphoria Dance Studio – a small business which provides affordable dance lessons to local children, according to TEDx Youth Briar Woods.
She is also an advocate for Mental Health and the Body Positivity + Health at Every Size Movement. For the same, she has created and participated in several awareness campaigns.
Aarya, who wishes to work in films and TV, has also taken part in school and community theatre and volunteers as a director for local kids’ plays. Talking about hobbies, she enjoys doing yoga, cooking, and exploring new places.
“I understand that this title is not just a crown, it is a duty, a responsibility. I plan on taking advantage of this amazing platform to spread love, positivity, and awareness. I hope you all send me your support, blessings, and love as I start my journey and take on my duties as your miss India USA 2022,” she concluded her winning post on Instagram.
According to PTI, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Miss India USA – the longest-running Indian Pageant outside of India. It was started by New York-based Indian- Americans Dharmatma and Neelam Saran under the banner of Worldwide Pageants.
Saumya Sharma and Sanjana Chekuru were declared first and second runner-ups, respectively. While Akshi Jain won the title of Mrs India USA, Tanvi Grover was crowned Miss Teen India USA.