Miss Nishtha Dudeja is the first Indian to win any title at Miss Deaf World Pageant. She won ‘Miss Deaf Asia 2018’ title at the 18th edition of Miss and Mister Deaf World -Europe -Asia Beauty Pageant 2018 recently held at Prague, Czech Republic.
Here’s excerpt from an interaction.
What responsibility comes with winning such a unique title – Miss Deaf Asia 2018?
Nishtha Dudeja: After winning Miss Deaf India pageant 2018 held in Jaipur in February this year, All India Deaf Arts and Culture Society (AIDACS) nominated me to represent India in Miss and Mister Deaf World-Asia-Europe Pageant, as its 18th edition was held in Prague, Czech Republic in September, 2018, where I was crowned with Miss Deaf Asia title. This is the first time that India won any title in this pageant in its 18th year and I am honoured and feel proud for this achievement. This title has empowered me. I am getting a lot of affection and love from people wherever I go.
This title has increased my responsibility to create awareness about the technological solutions available to mitigate various disabilities.
You have also won a National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in the ‘Role Model’ category for your overall achievement and excellence in the fields of education, sports as well as art and culture. Tell us about it.
Nishtha Dudeja: National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities are given by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India every year to the persons with disabilities for extra-ordinary achievements in their respective fields. I was given this award on 3rd December this year by Hon’ble Vice President of India at a function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, for my all-round achievements in the fields of education, sports, art and culture.
It is really a great honour for me to have got this award. I feel blessed and humbled, and want to thank the Government of India to have recognized my achievements. I am grateful to the people of my beautiful country for showering their blessings, love and affection on me.
How did you deal with the challenges that came along with winning, throughout this journey?
Nishtha Dudeja: The biggest challenge in this journey of participating and winning Miss Deaf Asia title, has been the lack of technical, logistical and financial support, as no sponsor came forward and we had to finance all the expenses ourselves. Learning make-up was quite difficult as I had never done make-up in the past. Another big challenge was to learn to walk on 5.5 inch heels as I have donned sports shoes for the last 15 years. But the most arduous task was to learn dancing as catching lyrics and beat was quite difficult. However, I put my best efforts to learn all these skills. In this process, some academies I contacted refused to train me as they thought I won’t be able to learn in a group coaching class.
What are your strengths?
Nishtha Dudeja: I think my greatest strength is my fighting spirit and drive to challenge my boundaries. I always wanted to do something new. I consider myself lucky to have got the chance to pursue my dreams which everybody does not get. However, I had to work very hard to realize these dreams. I was fortunate to have been born in a family whose every member took it as a mission to bring me up to be at par with others. The dedication of my mother, patience of my brother and motivation of my father are three strongest pillars of my support.
What do you look forward to after such great achievements?
Nishtha Dudeja: Right now I am pursuing my MA in Economics which gets completed in June, 2020. I want to work for helping and empowering the deprived and differently-abled people. I already have an assignment of Brand Ambassador of a large hearing aid company. I want to break all those barriers for which the differently abled persons are not considered suitable for a particular profession or industry.