By Purushottam Nayak
Bhubaneswar: A 20-year Dalit Christian girl from Kandhamal district, Odisha recently won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Body Beauty titles at the Miss Teen Diva-2020 Beauty Contest organized in Jaipur and Gurugram.
“I was honoured to be the winner of the prestigious Miss Body Beauty and Miss Photogenic of India,” said Melissa Nayak. “I have a dream to represent India at the biggest international pageants in life.”
She was one of the finalists for “Miss Teen Diva 2020,” a national beauty competition.
There were 24 titles in the competition. She had to go through 24 rounds to get these two national titles.
“I dedicated my time to online training during COVID-19. I was mentally strong because this journey was not so easy for me,” Nayak said.”
“I realized this great responsibility in grooming, makeup wardrobe and in doing exercise to make my body fit and learning to speak well to represent Odisha in this beauty contest.”
According to her, fear prevents anyone from trying to achieve one’s dreams. “If we do not try, how would we know if we are capable of achieving our dreams or not?” she asked.
Never give up in life to achieve one’s goal in life despite difficulties and hardships, says Nayak to all the young aspirants to become successful in life.
“I was inspired to participate in the pageant contest to gain self-confidence and courage. Through this platform, I have a desire to work for the betterment of society,” said Nayak.
Nayak was born on July 31, 2001, and hails from Gundhani village of Kandhamal district.
She is the eldest of five siblings in the family. She has lost her father, Sachitananda in 2019.
The widowed mother is the only breadwinner for the family.
The family belongs to the Church of North India (CNI) and Dalit community.
Nayak did her primary education in the village school. She completed her grade 10, at Daughters of Charity nuns-run, Saint Catherine’s Girls’ High School, Raikia in 2017.
She completed her senior high school or pre-college degree at Seventh Day Advent School, Khorda, near Bhubaneswar, the state capital.
Currently, Nayak is pursuing Bachelor’s in Computer Science from State-run Khalikote University, Berhampur, Odisha.
She appeared in an interview presenting hopes and aspirations, the intention in and out. There were highly trained contestants for the pageant, Nayak said.
“I thank God that I was one of 25 finalists selected out of 3000 contestants who participated for Miss Teen Diva,” she added.
Her mother has all praise for the daughter and encourages her to achieve her dream.
“I appreciate her determination to participate in the beauty contest. She has a great opportunity ahead of her life to represent India internationally. I am proud of my daughter,” said mother Mamata Jyoti.
“I feel this is a great opportunity for me to make Odisha and India proud. I beseech your blessings and support in my endeavor,” said confident Nayak.
She hopes that well-wishers and friends could support and pray for her success.
“God willing, I look forward to people’s blessings in my life to represent India internationally someday,” she added.
She hopes to influence many youngsters to be models in the society to bring some change.
“We thank God that He has blessed her abundantly to bring name and fame to the district and Odisha. We are glad that a daughter from a backward district and underdeveloped rural region could reach so high in her life. She is the proud daughter of Odisha,” said Ashok Nayak, a catechist of Our Lady of Charity Parish, Raikia.
Ashok is a neighbor of Melissa.
Miss Teen Diva is a new pageant launched by Nikhil Anand, Chairman, Glamanand Group.
It is organized by Glamanand Entertainment Pvt Ltd, a company that is renowned for hosting popular beauty pageants and turning them out to be a grand success.
Glamanand proudly owns many of the biggest international franchises of beauty pageants that cover various renowned international events.
“We aim at allowing our participants to an extent where the girls will be able to represent India at various beauty pageants that are held globally. We provide the winner of Miss Teen Diva with an opportunity of representing India at Miss Teen Universe and Miss Teen Multinational,” said the organization.
Rudangi Samantaray from Bhubaneswar was another finalist from Odisha. The competition commenced on January 19 that ended on January 25 in Jaipur and Gurugram.
The contestants had their pageant at the Grand Uniara Hotel till January 22. While the pageant duration from January 23 to 25 was at Park Inn by Radisson Gurugram, Bilaspur, Glamanand Group owns Miss Teen Diva beauty pageant.
The contestants all across India participated in the coveted four titles—Miss Teen India International, Miss Teen India Universe and Miss Teen India Earth.
The three winners from the pageant will represent India for all the above titles mentioned. The contestants will be competing for the chance to represent all the top three international pageants for teens. There were 25 national finalists—Aishwarya Vinu Nair, Astha Dave, Bhoomika Sahu, Chetna Aroa, Debapriya Sharma, Divya Chaudhary, Gargi Yadav, Guramrit Kaur, Kannkshi Rathi, Maahi Nikam, Manishika Goel, Melissa Nayak, Parvi Dhaulakhandi, Pranjal Priya, Priyal Bhatt, Rashi Parasrampuria, Ritu G Gadhvi, Riya Choudhary, Rudrangi Sundaray, Sayali R. Ayre, Sejal Kumar, Shivangi Desai, Shrishti Xalxo, Wachi Pareek, Yashika Dudeja.