Manya Singh arrives in autorickshaw with father Omprakash Singh and mother Manorama Singh. Manya is back to her place from the ‘city of dreams’
Story of Manya Singh,
“At 14, I boarded the train from my village & left for Mumbai to pursue my dreams,all by myself. I didn’t know where it would lead me, but I knew I was meant to achieve great things.
When I walked out of the station, Pizza Hut was the first place I saw–I somehow got myself a part-time job there & temporary accommodation.
2 days later, when I called Papa, he started crying. But I reassured him, ‘This is where I belong.’ So the next day, both my parents came to Mumbai.
Papa said, ‘We’ll support you’; he drove an auto to make a living. Still, they put me in a good school. Alongside, I also worked part-time–I earned Rs.15,000 a month.
I was 15 when I watched the Miss India Pageant for the first time–I thought, ‘I’m going to win that crown someday & make Papa proud.’ But coming from a patriarchal family, I was told that women are lesser than men. Tauji would say, ‘Ladkiyon ko padhai karke bhi shaadi hi karni padti hai.’
But when I told Papa, ‘I want to compete for a beauty pageant’, he said, ‘Keep working hard & you’ll get there!’ So during my graduation, I auditioned for over 10 pageants, but they’d say, ‘Shakal achi nahi hai’ or ‘You don’t even know English!’
Things weren’t easy at home either–Papa had mortgaged our jewellery to pay my fees. So if I’d need money to buy clothes, I’d mop the floor at the pizza place. There, I observed how people carried themselves & in college, I’d observe how my friends spoke English.
So last December, I tried again. Because of the pandemic, I gave all my interviews online from my 10*10 slum. Once, when I spoke about my father being an auto driver, people said, ‘You’re just trying to get attention,’ but I was proud of my roots.
And 2 months later, I was declared the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 – Runner Up! Papa hugged me & said, ‘Manya Omprakash Singh has made it!’ It’s been a week & I still can’t believe it!
Now, I finally have the chance to give my parents everything; I’m going to start by buying them a home. They’ve supported me relentlessly. Papa believed in a 14-year-old’s frivolous dream of making it big in the city. He believed in me…& that’s why,today,a rickshaw driver’s daughter
Inspiring young generation, Manya singh has won hearts of many people around the world.