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FORDS, N.J—Nineteen-year-old Pranathy Gangaraju of Georgia was crowned Miss India USA 2014 at a glittering pageant held on Dec. 14. Riya Kaur, 15, of New Jersey won the Miss Teen India USA title, while Namita Dodwadkar, 28, of Massachusetts, was declared the first Mrs. India USA. The 33rd annual pageant was organized by the New York-based IFC, headed by Dharmatma Saran, founder and main organizer of the pageant.
In the Miss India USA category, 27 , of Hawaii, were declared first and second runners up respectively among 21 contestants from various parts of the country who participated in the Miss India USA pageant. Nisha Kalamdani of New Jersey and Shivali Marwaha of Virginia, were the other two finalists.
Gangaraju, 19, is majoring in Film Acting and Production. Her hobbies include dancing, singing, writing and swimming. She was crowned by outgoing queen Monica Gill. Pranathy will represent the U.S. in the 24th annual Miss India Worldwide Pageant to be held in Goa, India in June of 2016.
In the Miss India USA category, Amritha Mangalat of New Hampshire was awarded Miss Talented.
Winners of the other various sub contests were Aamy Kuldip of Illinois: Miss Photogenic, Nandini Aiyer of New York :Miss Beautiful Eyes, Rupinder Raj of New York: Miss Beautiful Skin, Nisha Kalamdani: Miss Beautiful Hair, Angela Nand of Hawaii: Miss Congeniality and Miss Catwalk, Pranathy Gangaraju from Georgia: Miss Beautiful Smile, Monica Shah of Florida: Miss Bollywood Diva, Nandini Aiyer: Miss Facebook and Angela Suresh of Washington: Miss Popularity.
Kaur, 15, who won the Miss Teen India USA title among 15 contestants, aspires to be a doctor and an actress. The first runner up in the category was Karishma Malhotra, 15, of New York and the second runner up was Harika Talluri, 16, of New Hampshire. The other two finalists were Shavi Sikaria of Washington and Nicky Kandola of Virginia.
Sub contest winners in the teen section were Karishma Malhotra of New York: Miss Talented, Talluri: Miss Photogenic, Nidhi Patel of Georgia: Miss Congeniality and Akila Narayanan of Massachusetts : Miss Facebook.
Dodwadkar, winner of Mrs. India USA, is a senior scientist at Novartis and holds a ph. D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her hobbies include modeling, Latin and Bollywood dancing and teaching. The first runner up in the category was Sheetal Kelkar, 35, of New Hampshire, while Rupal Patel, 25, of New York, was the second runner up.
Rakashi Chand and Tapasya Srivastava, both of Massachusetts, were the other two finalists.
The sub contest winners in the section were Dodwadkar: Miss Photogenic, Purvi Ragoowansi of New Jersey: Miss Congeniality and Geet Karn of Washington: Miss Facebook.
The pageant started with a stunning performance by all the contestants led by the outgoing Miss India World Monica Gill. All contestants presented classical dances, singing performances and gymnastics. Stacy Issac, Miss India USA 2001 and Roshi George, Miss FOKANA, were emcees for the evening.
The panel of judges included Dr. Ravi Jhagirdar, president of AAPI, Satya Shaw a, cultural activist from Florida; Dr. Binod Sinha, Susmita Patel, celebrity makeup artist and Ines Hernandez, a fashion designer from Dominican Republic. The crowning was followed by dinner and dance.
This story originally appeared on News India Times.