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Manya Singh, VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 runner up: My mother told me aukat se badhkar sapne nahi dekhne chahiye, I told her it was time to change what the world expects out of us – Times of India

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Manya Singh, VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 runner up: My mother told me aukat se badhkar sapne nahi dekhne chahiye, I told her it was time to change what the world expects out of us - Times of India

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Life has not been easy for Manya Singh, the daughter of an autorickshaw driver, who is now VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 runner up. From leaving home at a young age and travelling to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh to juggling jobs, studies and auditions, it has been a difficult yet learning experience for Manya. Manya, who now stays with her family in Mumbai, is yet to meet her parents after the win. “They were in tears when I video-called them. They could not believe that I made this dream come true but this is just the beginning,” she tells us.

Manya Singh

Manya left home in her early teens to make her dreams come true. “I would have been asked to get married after finishing my studies and I always knew I wanted to do something big in life, so I left,” she tells us, adding, “I realised that to have a successful life, you need to have knowledge. I enrolled myself in a college then I started working in a call centre and decided to pursue my dream of becoming Miss India. I started applying for Miss India in 2016, those were my failed attempts. I tried participating in Campus Princess, and
mujhe bahut logon ne bola ‘you are not the Miss India type, you are dusky’, but I believed in myself. I knew I will do what I want to do. I joined a call centre because I knew mujhe apne language mein fluency laani hai, whether English or Hindi.
Mujhe paise bhi chahiye thay jisse main apna ghar chala sakoon. When I entered the PI round of Miss India, I told them that I am not just representing UP, I am representing all women. If I am getting this opportunity, I would like to be a role model for women who want to do something big in their life,” elaborates Manya.

Manya Singh

But it was a long struggle for Manya before reaching where she is today. In her ‘get to know me’ post during the Miss India competition, she shared that she scored 80% in her Class 10th while also working in a Pizza Hut at the same time. “I knew I couldn’t afford grooming classes but I learnt by observing people.
Maine modelling join
ki, auditions
pe jaati thi logon ko observe
karne ke liye. I saw how girls carried themselves, how to put makeup and that is how I groomed myself. Whatever I am today is because of that observation.”

While Manya’s parents are proud of her accomplishment, the family struggled to even send her to school. She says that she wasn’t officially enrolled in any school till Class 9th. They could only afford the exam fee and she used to go to school only to sit for exams. “When I told my mom about becoming a Miss India, she said, ‘You need to have a strong background for Miss India.
Humare jaise log aise sapne nahi dekhte. Kabhi aukaat se badhkar sapne nahi dekne chahiye’. But I told her to believe in me and that it was time to change the world and what it expects out of us. I would like to say this to everyone out there that believe in your dreams,
jitney bade sapne, utni difficulties
aayengi, but believe in your dreams,” says Manya.

Manya Singh and her parents

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