<br>IANSlife spoke to the winner of the ‘Face of The Globe Pageant 2014 – People's choice award' to know how she is preparing for the contest which is going virtual this year and live streamed on July 31.
How did you get the wild card entry?
Saujani: The age limit to enter Miss England pageant is 16 years old. And I have just turned 16. My mum applied to the pageant and completely forgot about it. And hold behold I get an email from them not only accepting my application but offering me a wild card entry. I was ecstatic on receiving this offer.
How do you see your competitors?
Saujani: Really speaking, my competition is just me. I need to keep improving my skills and work towards my passions and goals to the best of my ability. I have to keep becoming better today then what I was yesterday.
But they have been preparing for long?
Saujani: Good question, I have lots and lots of work to do. I have started online coaching. Due to the current situation, I can't attend classes. I need to start working on my outfits, hair, have to be working out regularly. Since first and foremost it's a pageant so I need to take care of myself but at the same time I am more excited to have a platform where by I can express and bring awareness to the topics that is very close to my heart — mental health awareness. I have a lot to say about it and I feel it's my generation that can bring this awareness and changes in many issues that haunts the world today. We all have to get together and have one voice. Spread as much positivity and awareness on issues like mental health, racial discrimination, poverty and bullying.
What is that one quality you have that will make you stand apart from your competitors?
Saujani: My most important quality is diversity and adaptability. At a very early age, I have experienced diverse cultures. I am the youngest contestant and my maturity and experience at this age will certainly stand out. And my biggest mantra is that my mum has taught me ‘failure is never falling down, but refusing to get up'. So for me, there is no failure, it's only learning.
Who is mentoring you?
Saujani: My mother has always been my mentor, as I feel I have so much to learn from her and how she handles and faces life challenges and overcomes it with dignity and self-respect intact. Her success in life is my inspiration.
Did you always want to participate in beauty pageants or did it just “happen” to you?
Saujani: Not really, my main passion has been acting. But I guess this is a great platform to follow my dreams.
Will you continue acting?
Saujani: I absolutely love acting and it's my passion. I'm very grateful that I have a platform. I will always be looking out for challenging roles in Bollywood or Hollywood.
And your studies?
Saujani: Absolutely! That's my utmost priority to finish my studies. I will be studying Psychology with Criminology in University.
If you win Miss England title, will you prepare for Miss World?
Saujani: Oh that is long way, and at present I only want to think of today and do my best in Miss England. The future will take care if itself.
Who do you idealise?
Saujani: Someone in the industry who has definitely inspired me has been Emma Watson. She's such an talented individual who has used her platform to provoke change and I think that's truly amazing.
Do you have any Bollywood project with you?
Saujani: There are many in the pipeline but due to the close down it's all delayed. I am unable to reveal anything at this stage.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)