Manya Singh was crowned runner-up of the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 on Wednesday night. For Manya, the daughter of a rickshaw driver from Uttar Pradesh, the victory was extra sweet after many sleepless nights and years of hard work. Manya had earlier opened up about the struggles she faced on the road to success, saying that she hoped to inspire others by using the platform provided by Miss India to talk about her journey.
Sharing photos of her family on Instagram, Manya wrote, “I have spent many nights without food and sleep. I walked for many afternoon on foot. My blood, sweat and tears became food for my soul and I dared to dream. Being the daughter of a rickshaw driver, I never had the opportunity to go to school because I had to start working in my teens.” “All the clothes I had were hand-me-downs. I yearned for books, but luck wasn’t in my favour. Eventually, my parents mortgaged whatever little jewellery my mother had to ensure that I paid my exam fees in order to earn a degree. My mother has suffered a lot to provide for me. At 14, I ran away from home. I somehow managed to complete my studies in the day, became a dishwasher in the evening and worked at a call centre at night. I’ve walked hours to reach places so I could save the rickshaw fare. I am here today at the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 stage to uplift my father, my mother, and my young brother and to show the world that all is possible if you are committed to yourself and your dreams,” the post further read.
Manya, who won the regional round and was crowned Miss India Uttar Pradesh last year, started working at a Pizza Hut store at the age of 16. Her task was to wash dishes at the restaurant. She appeared for her 10th boards while working at the pizza chain and even scored an 80% aggregate. The Miss India organisation thanked Manya for “sharing her story of struggle and hard work” and hailed her as an inspiration to others.