The 9th edition of Miss and Mister Deaf India 2020, organised by the Wheeling Happiness Foundation, took place at New Delhi’s NDMC Convention Centre on Thursday. The programme mesmerized everyone with the immense amount of talent displayed on stage by the specially-abled people.
We organised the programme in collaboration with the All India Deaf Arts and Cultural Society (AIDACS), and the winners for the pageant were announced together post the crowning ceremony.
Ramesh R from Tamil Nadu and Arti Sharma, 20, from Madhya Pradesh (MP) were announced as the winners for Mr and Miss Deaf International 2020 respectively.
The awards for Mr and Miss Deaf World 2020 were bagged by Mohit Upadhyay, 23, from MP and Shwetha K, 20, from Karnataka respectively.
The contestants had to go through four rigorous rounds of selection, Ethnic, Fashion, Talent and Q&A. The esteemed Jury shortlisted the contestants according to their performance in the four rounds.
The winners will now be groomed by experts to compete on global platforms representing India. We will support them throughout this training process to ensure the empowerment of the specially-abled people and community.
A total of 65 contestants were drawn from all across the country. Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament from New Delhi who was the Chief Guest, encouraged their morale through her kind words and presence. The event was also graced by Ms. Arushi Nishank Pokhriyal, renowned classical dancer and national convener of the Sparsh Ganga campaign, along with Sh. Dharmendra, IAS, Chairman, and NDMC. Sh. Rajkumar Punjabi, President, AIDACS, were also one of the honourable dignitaries present.
Eminent jury members Prof. Nigel Howard (International Sign Language Trainer), Sheetal Poolanda (Classical Dancer & Company Secretary), Rupalii Sethi & Sunalii Sethi (Fashion Designers), Retd. Lt. Rita Gangwani (Renowned Personality Developer & Pageant Trainer) & Koyal Rana (Femina Miss India 2014) were also there at the event.
15 specially-abled children of New Delhi, Municipal Council’s (NDMC) Achal School accompanied past winners on the ramp and showcased an exclusive ensemble performance directed by Ganesh Vyas on the theme of “Swachh Bharath”. The breathtakingly beautiful performance of these children was the perfect way to give the programme just the right beginning.
These kids were selected prior on the basis of a poster making competition organised by us in their school on the same theme of Swachh Bharat.
“The whole idea of having this event was to provide a national platform to the specially-abled community to showcase their talent and gain more attention, to maybe get absorbed in the mainstream fashion industry or open the doors for them to pursue any other dreams that they may be nurturing,” said Deepa Malik, the co-founder of The Wheeling Happiness Foundation.
We look forward to the next edition of the pageant, that’s sure to break the stereotypes and norms of society and enable a better world with equal opportunities for everyone.