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Dream comes true for dishwasher-cum-call centre executive

MUMBAI: She ran away from home at the age of 14, travelled all the way to Mumbai to become a domestic help and work at a call centre at nights only to pursue her studies and her dream to do “something really big”. And, at 19, she is VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 runner-up.

Manasa Varanasi and Manika Sheokand may have been crowned VLCC Femina Miss India World 2020 and VLCC Femina Miss Grand India 2020 on February 10, but it was Uttar Pradesh teen Manya Singh who made the headlines.

Perseverance is what Manya personifies. She dreamt “aukat se badhkar (beyond her stature)” albeit her mother warning her “aukat se badhkar sapne nahi dekhne chahiye (one should not dream beyond one’s stature)” and she achieved it.

Daughter of an autorickshaw driver, Manya, however, spent “many nights without food and sleep” to achieve her dream.

Discouraged many a times in beauty contests because of her dusky complexion, Manya was not the type who would give up. Strong in her determination and self belief, the lanky teen started applying and giving auditions for Miss India contests since 2016.

In an Instagram post that has gone viral ever since her podium finish in the apex beauty contest of the country of 1.3 billion, Manya has stated: “I’ve spent numerous nights without food and sleep. I’ve spent many afternoons walking for miles on end. My blood, sweat, and tears have amalgamated into courage to pursue my dreams.

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“Being a rickshaw driver’s daughter, I never had the opportunity to attend school as I had to start working in my teens. All the clothes I had were hand-me-downs. I yearned for books, but luck wasn’t in my favour. Eventually, my parents mortgaged whatever little jewellery my mother had to ensure that I paid my exam fees in order to earn a degree. My mother has suffered a lot to provide for me.

“At 14, I ran away from home. I somehow managed to complete my studies in the day, became a dishwasher in the evening and worked at a call centre at night. I’ve walked hours to reach places so I could save the rickshaw fare. I am here today at the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 stage to uplift my father, my mother, and my young brother and to show the world that all is possible if you are committed to yourself and your dreams.”

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