About twenty finalists of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2009 contest are undergoing rigorous fitness training ahead of the contest in Mumbai next month.
The month-long training is being conducted in a gymnasium under the watchful eyes of fitness freaks and professionals to ensure that the eventual winners fare exceptionally well at international pageants.
"It's been someday of training but it's not done. As far as I am concerned, I have really worked hard, not only this month, but I have been working from two years on this. I think, I should be there in top three," said Ishita Sarkar, a contestant.
Bollywood actor Isha Kopikar met the finalists at the gymnasium and gave them some tips. "I told them how important it is to stay healthy versus any particular size. Secondly, it is very important to be disciplined and to focus all you energies on what is really important to win. All other things, which may cause distractions or are less important, have to be overlooked," said Kopikar.
India first won a Miss World title in 1966 with the crowning of Reita Faria. Thereafter, it took another 28 years for an Indian woman to secure another world beauty title.
In 1994, Sushmita Sen won the Miss Universe crown while Aishwarya Rai secured the Miss World title. The Miss India contest with its 45-year-old legacy is the oldest and most credible beauty pageant in India.
The pageant has launched many a face like Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra to name a few, all of whom have carved a niche for themselves in the business of glamour.