American Indian Vaidehi Dongre from Michigan was crowned Miss India USA 2021. Arshi Lalani from Georgia was declared the first runner up at the beauty pageant held over the weekend. Dongre, 25, graduated from the University of Michigan, majoring in international studies. She works as a business development manager with a major corporation. “I want to leave a positive lasting impact on my community and focus on women’s financial independence and literacy,” Vaidehi said. She also won the ‘Miss Talented’ award for her flawless performance of Indian classical dance Kathak. As many as 61 contestants from 30 states participated in three different pageants - Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA. Winners of all three categories get complimentary tickets to travel to Mumbai to take part in worldwide pageants.
Lalani, 20, dazzled everyone with her performance and confidence and was declared the first runner up. She suffers from brain tumour. North Carolina’s Mira Kasari was declared the second runner up. Diana Hayden, Miss World 1997, was the chief guest and chief judge for the pageant. In another Instagram post, Vaidehi shared how she was honoured to represent the state of Michigan. She wrote, "The Miss India USA pageants have always provided a platform to empower and encourage women of Indian origin. As a little girl having been born in India and raised in the US, I have always straddled the line between Indian & American culture and values & discovered all the amazing gifts that both have to offer.