Recently the finale for Miss Earth India 2016 was held in Leela Ambience in New Delhi on 3rd October. The contest which had the aim of promoting the causes of “Green: Waste Free India”, “Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao” and “Beauties For a Cause”, turned into the most harrowing experience for the contestants.

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The contest which went for almost 7 months, concluded with a very ambiguous result, where no explanations were given for the basis of selecting a winner. It had to be shut down mid way, due to some legal issues, and the organizers announced Rashi as the winner. However the results gave way to a lot of displeasure from the other contestants.

One of the contestants revealed the following experiences about the contest:

I have been a part of the Miss Earth India pageant since February when I auditioned in Delhi for it. We were also told that we were already finalists and the pageant finale will be held in July.

We diligently did all the tasks assigned to us with various NGOs, on our own expenses. We were supposed to be marked on these activities, and our scores were put up on the MEI website. Meanwhile the date of the finale changed from July to somewhere in August or September. We were asked to keep our time free for these months. Many girls had to give up on paid assignments to keep time free.

Finally the finale date was confirmed as 3rd October. The wardrobe lists that were sent to us were based on the plan that it would be a 10 day affair. Later it got down to 5 days, and then at the last minute it came down to 3.

During these 3 days, there was no accommodation or even food provided. We were kept busy the entire day, starving. The food that they finally provided was nothing more than maybe half a sandwich or some food from Haldiram.

There were a lot of last minute changes to the event which led to a lot of wastage of resources for us.

We were patient. Even when we were yelled at/talked to in a mean way at different occasions we kept quiet.

The Finale:

And finally after 7 to 8 months of all of this, we went on stage and the pageant was cancelled. Even then we knew nothing about what and why this was happening. Within 5 minutes, it was announced that based on merit, performance, feedback and activities a winner is going to be chosen. Rashi’s name was announced. We were all left to wonder what marks, performance, feedback this was based on because in the last 7 months of being “marked” on performance, activities, environmental advocacies, even popularity through votes, other people were clearly leading.

No awards for other Miss Earth India titles that are even mentioned on the website were given – Miss Earth Air, Fire, Water, Miss Talented, Miss Photogenic, Miss Popular – nothing!

There was no transparency on the result and no competition held to make it happen. As contestants we have known each other for 7 months now. We have worked together.  If the decision was fair and transparent, if the competition was conducted, if the organizers had been honest to us since the beginning, no one would have retaliated, let alone all 24 of them.

The Reactions:

Pageant Communities have people on it telling us finalists that our reactions are not justified.  Do you really believe that they are not justified after we have given our all to it this ENTIRE year?

Yesterday I had Mr. Kartik Behl (another person who posts regularly on pageants) write that I slapped Rashi (the announced winner) after the show and that I should be banned from international pageants, when in reality I did nothing of this sort.

I was never mean to anyone. All I did do like many of my fellow contestants – was work hard.

We stood by the pageant even after it being postponed so many times, even after not knowing what was going on and no news from the organizers side for days together, we believed in it and worked for it.

It’s my sincere request to people who are writing all sorts of things out there to kindly stop demeaning us. What happened was UNFAIR. There was NO pageant. If you can’t support us or don’t want to – don’t, but please don’t make it worse, we have gone through enough in the last 7-8 months.

On 6 Oct 2016 – Pageant people declared the other winners, mostly to shut the mouths of the contestants.


Earth Winner – Ms Rashi Yadav

Air Winner – Ms Shaan Suhas Kumar

Fire Winner – Ms Hemal Ingle

Water Winner – Ms Chum Darang

Winners for the sub titles are:

  1. Ms Popular – Ms Pallavi Sirohi
  2. Ms Talent – Ms Tanwi Dixit
  3. Ms Personality – Ms Rwituparna Ghosh
  4. Ms Photogenic – Ms Adya Shrivastava
  5. Ms Friendship – Ms Sakshi Gupta
  6. Ms Best Smile – Ms Saumya Saxena
  7. Ms Best Walk – Ms Bhavyta Sharma
  8. Ms Beautiful Eyes – Ms Saumya Singh
  9. Ms Ethical – Ms Sonali Verma

Shaan’s Reaction:

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I refuse to accept this title!

This is the pageant I gave my entire year to, I put in a lot of hard work for this as well. Today when I saw this post I should have been brimming with joy, but I felt nothing. The essence of what this meant and stood for is no more. Our finale, or the lack of it changed everything.

There was no pageant, we just stood there on stage – no questions, no introductions and yet a winner was announced. And today the organizers decided to give us these titles by posting in a pageant community. For all the hard work all of us contestants put in for 7 months, this is the LAST way I had imagined this would end. Unfair, to say the least.

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Backed up with a B.Pharm degree and an MBA, She is been a path-breaker. From being a HR person to a medical writer, she did a complete 360 degree turn to become the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Stylewhack. Since then, there has been no looking back for her. Watch her column for trendy fashion tips, food review, costume jewelry, home décor and various other creative ideas. She loves to travel and explore world to quench her wanderlust!


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