Jamshedpur: When she's called Miss India, it's the "sweetest name in the world", says Jamshedpur girl Ankita Kumari, 21, in Tokyo, Japan, to represent her country at Miss International 2017.
Seventy-one contestants from across the world - from Argentina to Vietnam - are vying for the crown at the prestigious pageant that started on October 25 and will go on till November 14.
A Sakchi girl and the youngest of four sisters, Ankita always wanted to represent India at an international beauty pageant and is now literally living her dreams, she told this reporter in a WhatsApp chat from Tokyo on Wednesday.
"I'll try my best to brig the crown to India," said the girl who entered modelling encouraged by her mother, who is now no more, and three elder sisters.
The glamorous and leggy lass got her first break on home turf when she won a Miss Jamshedpur crown in 2014. More recently, Ankita was among the top three in Femina Miss India Bengal in 2016, and a runner-up in Tiara Queen and a finalist in the Calcutta auditions of Miss Diva, both in 2017. Chosen to represent India for Miss International, she trained under acclaimed modelling coach Ritika Ramtri for a month.
But, Ankita did not neglect her studies. An alumna of DAV Public School, Patelnagar, and Church School, Beldih, she has a BBA degree from Institute of Engineering and Management and is doing her PG in mass communication at Amity University, both in Calcutta.
A sporty girl, with volleyball and badminton being her favourites, she said Jamshedpur-born Priyanka Chopra inspired her to join the glamour industry. "She is my inspiration, my idol, love, craze and everything," she texted.
"She may be Priyanka's fan but we are Ankita's fans," quipped her sister Neelam.