Tanvi Singla was adjudged fourth runner-up in the Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 beauty pageant. The 19-year-old model lost to beauties from France, Korea, Russia and Indonesia at the pageant that was held in August in Korea."I was groomed for a month in Mumbai before flying to Korea to take on participants from 57 countries. It was a tough fight. Korea had the home advantage," says the youngest and only vegetarian contestant at the pageant.
"Even without any backing from my own country if I could come so far, then, with a little support, we could win."
Lara Dutta was the last Indian girl to win the Miss Universe title in 2000. Sushmita Sen, whose I AM SHE is the official representative for India at the Miss Universe pageant, agrees the onus of winning cannot be on the girls alone.
“No one knows their names, so there’s no pressure to perform. When Lara and I won, everyone was interested in knowing the contestants from India, Colombia and Venezuela. We aren’t feared now,” she sighs, “Media coverage is important so that international brands get to know the girls. When a contestant becomes visible, the brands want her and she wins.”