You cannot know darkness without light. I knew darkness well; being Miss India-Canada 2015 became my light.
What a journey! Little did I know that the crown would take me places I had only ever imagined, introduce me to people determined to change the world, and make me realize that everything I wanted was right there, within reach.
I was confused and rattled by who I had to be with this title. So I chose honesty to build my foundation. I became as righteous and as open as I vocally could be. I wanted to paint a picture of faith and tell the right stories. Ms. Baisakhi Roy helped me do that. When I shared my testimonial on mental health with the Live, Love, Laugh Foundation, Baisakhi supported me and encouraged me to take the story forward.
When I was unsure and stumbled, when I needed to calm down, when I was acknowledged for my work, I had Mr. Sanjay Agnihotri standing by me as a big brother and guide on every step of the way. He trusted me when I needed it most and I count on him for always pushing me forward. It is incredible how a team of talented and genuine people can influence you to grow in spirit and skill.
My achievements of 2015 – 2016 include:
- Acknowledged in the A-list, top 55 prominent Indo-Canadians, Carleton University, Ottawa
- Led the Indian Independence Day parade, Panorama India, Toronto
- Crafted a testimonial for the Live, Love, Laugh Foundation, India (an initiative by Deepika Padukone)
- Represented the title, All India Radio, New Delhi
- Public Speaker and activist, Mahila Kalyan Mandal (Women Welfare Society), Himachal Pradesh; Sirtazi Support Foundation, Lucknow; Prayas NGO, New Delhi
- Brand ambassador and led seminar, Mental Health Stigma and Battling Negative Emotions, Love Heals, Mumbai
- Special Guest, Bollywood Monster Mashup Concert 2016, Toronto
- Guest Model, Suhaag magazine and fashion shows, Toronto
I am immensely thankful to all the gracious people who cheered for me and made me their role model during my reign. It is an honour, a blessing and the most gratifying experience to be a part of a family that helped me build my bridges and walked me home.