It’s my time to give back to society

It’s my time to give back to society

Former Miss America Nina Davuluri, who is the pride of the nation, has come down to her hometown Vijayawada after a gap of five years.

Former Miss America Nina Davuluri, who is the pride of the nation, has come down to her hometown Vijayawada after a gap of five years. Being the first Indian American and the second Asian American to be crowned as Miss America, Nina has deep roots in Vijayawada. Her grandmother V Koteswaramma is the founder of Montessori Educational Institutions which celebrated its diamond jubilee recently. She participated in the celebrations along with other dignitaries.

Nina landed in Mumbai this month and met a few organisations engaged in promoting women empowerment and providing education to the underprivileged. She has already contributed to associations such as Pratham, Magic Bus and Akshaya Patra in India.

Specifying her future plans, Nina says, “I want to devote my life to social service. My visit to the country is an opportunity for me to explore things here. I want to ensure that I meet the right kind of people who are committed to values and integrity so that I can take forward the mission of cultural competency and education.’’

Responding to a question on how she handled criticism after being crowned Miss America, Nina said, “There were hundreds of people who supported me for every single hate comment, post and message. If not for them, I would not have been proud of what I am right now.”

“I am just 25 now and too young to take a decision on where to settle down. Miss America title has changed my life. It gave me a voice to make a difference. I cannot forget the support I received from the society. Now it is my responsibility to give something in return. The influence of my grandmother, mother, sister and aunt has been effective as they play an important role in moulding my character,” she said.

Defining beauty, Nina said, “There is a universal stigma that beauty and brains cannot go together. The false perception on women has to change to ensure their empowerment. I am foremost a public speaker and an advocate which demands communication. I owe my profession for giving me an opportunity to communicate with all the right kind of people--from children to even the prime minister. You cannot compromise on either beauty or brain.'' Nina loves to shop and adores rack shopping.

“I am not brand conscious and never bother about labels. I always give priority to sale rack. I love to go to Australia and New Zealand and gorge on South Indian food. I regularly eat idli, sambar and dosa at my house,’’ she said.

“I am an Indian American who has the rare gift of having two traditions at a time. I respect both the cultures and can’t decide on what or how my marital life will lead me into. I have the best of both the worlds. Let’s see what happens,’’ said the dusky beauty.

Finally, her message to women is, “Be who you are. Being mentally and physically fit is what you could gift yourself. Don’t try to be others or ape them. Being yourself and being balanced is what’s important.”

By: Ch Sowmya Sruthi

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