With barely 24 hours left for the world’s biggest beauty contest, villagers in the Indian state of Bihar are praying for the success of Shilpa Singh who is representing the country at the Miss Universe 2012 Pageant being held in Las Vegas on Wednesday. A total of 89 contestants from across the world are participating in the pageant.
Singh, a 23-year-old software engineer and runway model, hails from the nondescript Digha village in Samastipur, about 160km north of Patna, the capital of Bihar.
Her village is confident that she will ultimately win the contest, many praying to the deities wishing success for the “daughter of the soil” at the beauty pageant.
“We are very happy after coming to know about the participation of our daughter at the world’s biggest beauty pageant… we are praying to the gods for her success,” said Brajendra Kumar Singh, the local mukhiya (village head) while talking to the media on Monday.
“There couldn’t have been better news than this that a girl born and brought up amid us is taking part in such a big event. We are really proud of her,” said Singh.
Her family members too are eagerly waiting.
“We are feeling quite elated now. We can’t say in words how happy we all are,” said Singh’s grandmother Binda Devi.
Her mother Rita Singh added: “She is an all-rounder. Since her childhood days, she has been taking part in extra-curriculum activities, such as sports and dance, and winning many prizes. I’m hopeful that she will win the Miss Universe contest as well.”
A graduate in computer sciences from Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering in Mumbai, Singh, who was the first runner-up of the ‘I AM She – Miss Universe India 2012’ contest eventually replaced Urvashi Rautela, the winner, because she did not conform to the minimum age criteria required by organisers of the Miss Universe pageant.
Singh and her family moved to Mumbai after her father, Suresh Kumar Singh, was posted as a senior engineer with Indian Oil.
The Miss Universe title has eluded India for many years. The last time it won the title was in 2000 when Lara Dutta was crowned in Cyprus. Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen won the title in 1994.