By Ria Das
Prague, Oct. 25: A girl from Haryana has won the Miss Deaf Asia 2018 title at an international pageant held recently in Prague, Czech Republic.
Nishtha Dudeja has thus become the first Indian to clinch a title at the Miss Deaf World Pageant. She triumphed against from contestants from China, Thailand, Taiwan, Israel, Czech Republic, Belarus, Mexico, South Africa and several other countries.
“I want to thank my parents for their consistent support who were always there to help me. Now I want to help the deprived people even at the cost of my comfort,” Dudeja said accepting the crown.
She says she believes that the differently-abled people don’t need pity. “They only deserve equal opportunities to prove themselves,” Nishtha told the Free Press Journal on October 22.
Dudeja was born in Panipat. Deaf since birth, she takes the disability in her stride. She has won the title at the 18th edition of Miss and Mister Deaf World-Europe-Asia Beauty Pageant 2018.
The 23-year-old is a commerce graduate from Venkateshwara College, Delhi University. Currently, she is pursuing MA in economics from Mithibai College, University of Mumbai.
However, the road to the Miss Deaf Asia title wasn’t smooth. Before making her pitch for the world pageant, Dudeja had also won the Miss Deaf India title on February 26 this year in Jaipur. She is the brand ambassador for Sivantos India Pvt Ltd. (formerly Siemens hearing Instruments Pvt Ltd.), the world’s leading brand of hearing aids.
She recently took to Twitter and shared the proud moment of winning the crown with her followers, “What a moment! It was overwhelming. It’s certainly something I will cherish forever! It was an amazing night. For d first time, India won any crown at Miss and Mister Deaf World pageant. I’m happy that I won dis crown for India.”
“Thank you #INDIA! On winning #MissDeafAsia2018, I want to convey that the differently abled people don’t need sympathy or pity. All they need are opportunities to prove themselves.
Jai Hind!,” she further wrote.
A bright student since her school days, Dudeja on her mother’s insistence, started learning judo at the age of seven. She participated in various tournaments up to the international level and won several medals. The beauty queen is also an accomplished tennis player. She has played many tennis tournaments.
She had also participated in Deaflympics 2013 (held in Sofia, Bulgaria), World Deaf Tennis Championship 2015 (held in Nottingham, UK) and Deaflympics 2017 (held in Samsun, Turkey).
Her father Ved Prakash Dudeja, a chief engineer in the Northern Railways, gave the credit of his daughter’s success to his wife who has worked hard for the success.
Punam Dudeja, a homemaker, says: “We were heartbroken when we came to know that our child will not be able to hear lifelong but we did everything to make our daughter’s life a successful one.”
Another Haryana girl Manushi Chillar was crowned Miss World in November last year.