Thursday, October 6, 2022

World’s first pageant for Indians with Down Syndrome crowns its winners

World’s first pageant for Indians with Down Syndrome Crowned its winners Miss/Mr India with Down Syndrome on September 15 – 17 at Mayfair Golf Resort, Raipur.
The pageant provided a space for self-expression that is often missing for people with intellectual disabilities in a curriculum centred around neuro-typical individuals.
The event was organised by the Down Syndrome Federation of India and Happiness is Khushi (an educational academy for people with learning disabilities), have 15 finalists selected from a shortlist of 40 across India.
The contest had three rounds: a ramp walk, a speech by the contestants, and a talent show.
Miss India with Down Syndrome 2022 is 16-year-old Unnathi Suranaa, who shared her experience as a teenager in a stand-up performance that had the audience in splits. Mr India with Down Syndrome is 21-year-old Sharan Delhivala, who is also an artist, a photographer and an avid Karateka. 13-year-old Ahida Sarmai, dazzled the audience with her Kathak performance in the talent round and went on to grab the first runner-up title in the pageant. Suprena Sarmai, mother of Ahida said that such platforms help in expression of the varied talent that their children possess and stated that they will create their own space and shine.
Khushi Shah (1st prize), Vihaan Vyas (second prize) and Maahi Choudhary (3rd prize) won hearts and the title of Miss confident smile and Mr. confident smile respectively.
In the talent category for winners above 15, Riza Reji bagged the first prize, Mr India with DS, Sharan Delhivala bagged second and Hetvi Chheda bagged third prize.
In the talent category for winners below 15 were Ahida Sarmai, the first runner-up in the pageant, Khushi Shah bagged second and Mauli stood third.
President of the Down Syndrome Federation of India and the pageant’s chief patron, Dr. Rekha Ramachandran, said “Through this platform, we are trying to change the mindset of those who think people with Down Syndrome are suffering, which is not true. We want the world to see and understand that these individuals are not only capable of dance, drama or music, but they are much beyond that and can perform in beauty pageants too and we are proud of them.”