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Suriname girl crowned Miss India Worldwide

Fareisa beat 19 contestants to bag the title at a pageant in New Jersey.

fashion and trends Updated: Apr 13, 2007 15:28 IST

Fareisa Joemmanbaks of Suriname was crowned Miss India Worldwide 2007 at a dazzling beauty pageant held in New Jersey. While the first runner up was South Africa's Nadia Vorajee, Sapna Sehravat of Canada was adjudged second runner up.

There were 19 contestants from as many countries, including India and the US at the contest organised by the India Festival Committee (IFC) Sunday. The show is in its 16th year.

Fareisa, 17, is a student of tourism and lives in Suriname's capital Paramaribo. In the pageant's crucial talent round, the petite beauty had opted to perform a belly dance, in contrast to most other contestants who had opted for some form of fusion of Indian classical and the more modern dance movements.

In the question round, South African Vorajee's response may have sealed her position as the first runner up. Asked whom she would like as her dinner partner, she named Mahatma Gandhi, whose epoch changing ideas were first honed in South Africa.

The show at a banquet hall in Fords, New Jersey, was co-hosted by Shweta Kwaatra, TV actress and anchor from Mumbai, and New York based actress Pooja Kumar. Filmy TV channel of the Sahara group was the main sponsor.

The evening gown, Indian dress (sari), talent and question-answer rounds were interspersed with regular song and dance entertainment showcasing local talent. The show banked heavily on current popular Bollywood numbers like "Bidi", "Kajra re" and "Crazy kiya re".

IFC was founded by New Yorker Dharmatma Saran in 1974 to conduct Indian beauty pageants and fashion shows. It has also been organising the Miss India USA and Miss India New York annually since 1980.

IFC has its affiliates in 20 countries of the Indian diaspora, as far away as Malaysia and Trinidad & Tobago, where the affiliates hold their own beauty pageants and send representatives for Miss India Worldwide.

The participating girls have to be of Indian origin, regardless of their place of birth, and should be between 17 years and 27 years of age. She should be unmarried and not have had a child. She further must be a resident, citizen or born in the country she wants to represent.

Mumbai was the venue for Miss India Worldwide on the last two occasions. Trina Chakravarty of the US, the 2006 winner, crowned Fareisa Miss India Worldwide 2007.

First Published: Apr 10, 2007 19:36 IST