Vaidehi Dongre 25, from Michigan, has been crowned Miss India USA for the year 2021, while Arshi Lalani from Georgia was declared the first runner up in the beauty pageant held over the weekend.
In an Instagram post shared after her big win, Dongre said she “strived to be a role model for young girls” while celebrating her rich South Asian heritage.
“Humbled and honoured to represent Indian immigrants living in the US as the new Miss India USA. This journey has been a whirlwind but at the root of it I have always strived to be a role model for young girls, celebrate my rich South Asian heritage and leave a lasting positive impact on my community. #MissIndiaUSA2021 Next up, Miss India Worldwide,” Vaidehi said in the caption of her post.
Among several people that she thanked in her post including the pageant founders, Vaidehi said, “To my rock-steady and rock-star director duo Rupali & Mira Bedi. To the village that raised me, supported me and taught me everything I know.”
For her parents, Vaidehi added, “Aai and Baba, the values you inculcated in me and Vineet at such a young age have given me strength in times of hardship and light in times of darkness. Making sure that I learned the roots of where I come from: marathi, hindi, reading and writing, mythology, culture, food, love, spirituality, all whilst living in the US was no easy feat, thank you.”