Sydney girl becomes Miss India Australia | india | Hindustan Times
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Sydney girl becomes Miss India Australia

Sydney girl Rashi Chandok has been crowned Miss India Australia at a glittering pageant held at John Clancy Auditorium of the New South Wales University in Sydney.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2003 14:56 IST

Sydney girl Rashi Chandok has been crowned Miss India Australia at a glittering pageant held at John Clancy Auditorium of the New South Wales Universityin Sydney. She hasbecome the first girl to be honoured with this title.

The beauty competition was the first such pageant to be held in Australia.

Rashi, 19, who is studying accountancy, would represent Australia in the 13th Miss India Worldwide beauty pageant to be held in San Francisco later this month. Another local girl, Gaby Grewal, was adjudged runner-up by the judges who included former Miss India Poonam (Gidwani) Chandramani.

"Rashi, for her intelligence and looks, stands a good chance to win the Miss India Worldwide title," Raj Suri, the national director of Miss India Australia, told IANS.

He is also hoping that the Indo-Australian girls beauty contest would attract more corporate sponsorships next year.

Miss India Australia, in Raj Suri's opinion, would become a major avenue for the Indian girls Down Under to excel themselves. "The main purpose behind organising this event is to give young Indian girls some sort of platform. The fashion industry in India is progressing rapidly but not every Indo-Australian girl can go there to be a part of it," opines Suri, who owns a photography studio and art gallery in Sydney.

In spite of the beauty contest being just an Indian community affair, it attracted wide media attention as a number of print and electronic media representatives were present to see Rashi emerge as a winner from among a group of 18 contestants.

Such is the growing importance of the Indian community that the event elicited a slideshow from the website of the leading Australian newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald.

The organisers also kept the wider community's involvement in their minds and included a number of entertainment items to represent Australian culture. The four-hour beauty contest had four segments: traditional Indian dress, evening gown, talent performance and question & answer segment.

While other contestants may have enthralled the audience with their proficiency in traditional, classical or ballet dances, Rashi Chandok secured the top honours by her speech.

"She impressed everyone, including four judges, by giving them an articulated insight into the mindset of a young Indian girl being brought up in a Western society," said Suri.

The winner of the Miss India Worldwide, according to Suri, stands a good chance to be counted among the top Indian entertainers or models. He belts out names like Aarti Chabria (Miss India Worldwide 1999), Neeta Puri, Ruby Bhatia, Richa Sharma, Ananya Mukherjee and Kamal Sidhu to press his point.

According to a Miss India Australia press release, the 13th Miss India Worldwide pageant to be held in September will take place concurrently with the Global Indian Awards at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on September 27.