Richa Gangopadhyay, a 21-year-old Michigan student, was crowned Miss India USA 2007 at the 26th annual pageant held on Friday in New Jersey.
Richa will now represent US at the 17th annual Miss India Worldwide pageant, organised by India Festival Committee (IFC), on February 23 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Richa is a final year student at the Michigan State University and majoring in Dietetics and Nutrition. She enjoys dance, music, movies and teaching children about health and nutrition. She also won the title of Miss Photogenic. The outgoing queen, Ayushka Singh, crowned her.
Neha Multani, 22, of New York and Nisha Palvia, 18, of Georgia were respectively declared first and second runners up among 24 contestants from various parts of the US.
At the pageant all contestants took part in the Indian dress and evening gown segment. In the talent round, the top 10 presented Bollywood dances, kathak, bharatanatyam, violin as well as poetry recitation and singing.
Nationwide, the financial services firm, was the title sponsor of the beauty contest held at Royal Albert's Palace in Fords. The contest, organised by New York-based IFC, is the longest running Indian pageant outside India.
Dharmatma Saran founded IFC in 1974 to conduct Indian beauty pageants and fashion shows. IFC's affiliates in 20 countries of the Indian diaspora hold their own beauty pageants and send representatives for Miss India Worldwide.
Fareisa Joemmanbaks of Suriname is the reigning Miss India Worldwide.