Bhubaneswar, October 11: A blend of intellect and style, persona and elegance, beauty and brains put together defines Nanhipari, the one of a kind beauty pageant for teenage girls. Rightly touted as Little Miss India, it is not just a beauty pageant, rather a talent hunt competition.
With a humble beginning in 2001, when it started in the remote Keonjhar district, Nanhipari, which became a national level contest in 2004,hascome a long way in establishing itself as one of the most coveted titles in the country and has put Odisha upfront on the fashion map. The dearth of organisations and regulatory bodies that could nurture young youths to confident women of tomorrow led to the birth of KIIT Nanhipari.
“The purpose of KIIT Nanhipari is to build an institution and a tradition dedicated for spotting and nurturing talented young minds in the country,” says Dr.Achyuta Samanta, noted social activist and Chief Patron of KIIT Nanhipari.
The organisers believe, it is an apt platform for the young girls who are looking for professional grooming before participating in international level beauty pageants. In fact, some of the contestants from the previous editions have carved niche in their respective fields.
Bhoomika Dash, a well-known Ollywood actor was the 2nd runners-up in KIIT NanhiPari, 2015 while ShriyaFule, another popular actress was the title winner of 2009 edition.
“Nanhipari is a platform for the young women to showcase their skills and confidence and prepare them for national and international beauty pageants” says Malay Mohapatra, patron of the event.
Like most of the pageants, the contestants of Nanhipari, who are between the age group of 13 and 16 years are scrutinised through regional auditions.
“The regional selection process has three rounds – self-introduction, talent round and questionnaire session. After all the rounds, the jury tally the cumulative score and select the finalist. This year, auditions are being held in 20 cities across the country,” says Shradhanjali Nayak, jury member of KIIT Nanhipari. The lists of finalists is revealed only after regional auditions in all the states.
“Once selected for the Grand Finale, the contestants are given proper grooming sessions and workshops with experts. The sessions are completely professional and at par with other beauty pageants,” says Smita Mohanty, another jury member of KIIT Nanhipari team.
The Nanhipari Grand Finale is a huge affair held in the last week of December. From flashy lights to ramp and big names from both Bollywood and Ollywood, the ambience is no less than a Miss India contest.
The finale has six rounds which include General Knowledge test, self-introduction, talent, sports and three categories of ramp walk – ethnic round, casual wear and white fairy dress round and Face The Jury.
Besides, the winner and runners-up, the pageant also has prizes in special categories including Miss Rapunzel (Most beautiful hair), Miss Photogenic (Best Pose in Photoshoot), Miss Selfie (Maximum Facebook likes), Miss Fashion (Best Costume), Miss Whizkid (Highest Marks in Quiz), Miss Cindrella (Best Personality), Miss Urvasi (Best Talent), Miss Catwalk (Best ramp walk), Miss Monalisa (Most Beautiful Smile) and Miss Active (Most active in Sports).
The bigger the competition, the grander the awards and prizes. While the winner walks away with Rs 21 lakhs including cash prize and 100 per cent academic waiver for studying in KIIT University, the first and second runners-up are awarded with Rs 10 lakh and Rs 9.5 lakh prize money which includes cash prize and 50 per cent academic waiver for studying in any discipline in KIIT University. The awarded winners in other categories are given a prize money of Rs 10,000.
With its growing popularity, the Little Miss India contest is garnering huge response from all over the country. This year alone, around 5000 contestants have registered for the auditions in different cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Patna and Bengaluru.
This year, the grand finale of KIIT Nanhipari will be held on December 28 and 29 in Bhubaneswar. The selected finalists will be informed about their selection by next month.
As the auditions are already underway, the organisers believe the challenge of the beauty pageant is now to keep up with its distinctiveness and promote the competition in such a way that it is recognised globally.