Meet Manya Singh, a rickshaw driver’s daughter who has been crowned VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 – runner-up at the recently concluded beauty pageant in Mumbai.
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Manya’s childhood was filled with hardships where she has even gone without food or proper sleep for days.
In an Instagram note that the organisation Femina Miss India shared on its verified handle in December 2020, Miss India 2020-runner up disclosed how she ran away from home at the age of 14 and somehow managed to finish her studies, did odd jobs and gave it her all to reach where she is now.
The post read, “I’ve spent numerous nights without food and sleep. I’ve spent many afternoons walking for miles on end. My blood, sweat, and tears have amalgamated into the courage to pursue my dreams. Being a rickshaw driver’s daughter, I never had the opportunity to attend school as I had to start working in my teens. All the clothes I had were hand-me-downs. I yearned for books, but luck wasn’t in my favour.”
The post further read, “Eventually, my parents mortgaged whatever little jewellery my mother had to ensure that I paid my exam fees in order to earn a degree. My mother has suffered a lot to provide for me. At 14, I ran away from home. I somehow managed to complete my studies in the day, became a dishwasher in the evening and worked at a call centre at night. I’ve walked hours to reach places so I could save the rickshaw fare. I am here today at the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 stage to uplift my father, my mother, and my young brother and to show the world that all is possible if you are committed to yourself and your dreams.”
According to a report in Wion, Manya intends to help her family with the prize money and wishes to continue to model.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the official Instagram page of Miss India shared the winners’ photo and wrote, “Presenting together for the first time, our Top 3 Winners at VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 co-powered by Sephora & Roposo- Manasa Varanasi, VLCC Femina Miss India World 2020, Manika Sheokand, VLCC Femina Miss Grand India 2020 and Manya Singh, VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 Runner-up. We’re so honoured to have had the opportunity to see you blossom throughout your pageant journey. We wish you the best for all the adventures that lay ahead. Congratulations, @manasa5varanasi, @manika_sheokand and @manyasingh993.”
Miss India 2020 was judged by Falguni Shane Peacock, Neha Dhupia, Chitrangada Singh and Pulkit Samrat. While Aparshakti Khurana hosted the event.