First woman of Indian descent crowned Miss America - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

First woman of Indian descent crowned Miss America


A native of Syracuse 24-year-old Nina Davuluri is the first woman of Indian decent to take home the title of Miss America.

I spoke with Manoj Ajmera, a leader in the local Indian community, about Davuluri's win.

"This is a beauty pageant we won and that can open up many doors and we can be very proud of that," said Manoj.

"I've been seeing the many Indian girls and men even on the business channel and I am so happy we are getting in there in different fields and that is the way it should be," he said.

Ajmera is the head of the annual Festival of Nations here in Albany, where young women from all nationalities compete for the win.

"if you look at our Festival of Nations pageant, we always tell them its not a beauty pageant but how you present yourselves and your poise," said Manoj.

College freshman, Elisha Cheeran, represented India in a recent Festival of Nations pageant saying she couldn't be more excited about Davuluri's win.

"To see people like that on stage and put out their confidence is such a boost for young people and it means you can do anything in the world," she said.

Unfortunately, not everyone felt a contestant of Indian decent should've been crowned Miss America, flooding social media with negative feedback.

"We have to be broad minded and be open to all the cultures and how America was built in the beginning it was a melting pot," said Manoj.

"It can prevent it for future generations as well," said Cheeran. "If we can tell them that this is wrong and show she is not this person and what they are saying is wrong, we can prevent this in the future."

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