Dharmatma Saran, Chairman and Founder of Miss/Mrs. India Worldwide and Shree Saini, the reigning Miss India Worldwide, won awards as the Director/Producer and Best Title Holder respectively at the Second Global Beauty Awards held on April 7 at Snoqualmie Casino in Seattle, Washington State. The Global Beauty Awards has been acclaimed as the Academy Award (Oscar) of beauty pageant industry. The event was attended by beauty pageant leaders from around the world. Sarah Rose Summers, the reigning Miss USA, was Emcee for the gala event.
Dharmatma Saran who is the pioneer in starting Indian beauty pageants in the USA and the world was honored for creating Miss India USA thirty eight years ago and also the only international Indian pageant – Miss India Worldwide with affiliates in over 40 countries. “He provides exceptional opportunities to his winners,” said the citation, “many of whom have gone to become Bollywood celebrities and the Who’s Who of the Indian community worldwide.”
Dharmatma Saran in his acceptance speech thanked Maureen Francisco and David Van Maren, Producers of the awards, for this honor. He also thanked Ekta Saini for nominating him and his wife Neelam Saran who has been a source of strength in his thirty eight years of pageant journey. Saran got this award out of 15 other influential nominees from around the world.
Shree Saini, the reigning Miss India Worldwide, was awarded as The Best Pageant Titleholder, out of 15 nominees from all over the world. The citation for Shree said ” As Miss India Worldwide, Shree saini has spoken at hundreds of events in over 70 cities, 11 states and 5 countries, al while being a full-time college student. She has collaborated with Governor, the Secretary of State, College Presidents, Mayors, and dozens of nonprofits, and her work has been published in over 500 newspapers.” Shree in her acceptance speech thanked her parents and Dharmatma Saran, Chairman of Miss India Worldwide, for their continued support.
Beautiful, compassionate, talented, ambitious, gentle, humble, determined and dedicated to achieving the lofty goals she has set before herself at a very young age, Shree Saini is a woman with a golden heart. Shree from the state of Washington was born in India. She immigrated to the United States as a toddler.
A woman with a noble mission, what the 22-year-old University of Washington student, is aspiring to achieve in her life, is to create awareness on a number of pressing social issues through her organization, and through her web-portal. “I began my nonprofit at age 15. I work on raising awareness and raising funds for several nonprofits including anti-human trafficking and anti-bullying,” the young visionary says. “I am very passionate about my non-profit and want to lead a life of service,” she says. “I want to help end human trafficking and work to promote the importance of emotional well-being in our society.”
Dharmatma Saran, chairman and founder of the New York based India Cultural Festival (IFC) that organizes the trail blazing Miss India Worldwide, is a pioneer in entertainment, holding Indian pageants and fashion shows in the USA and worldwide.
In 1990, Dharmatma Saran, decided to take the pageant one step further to an international level and started The First Miss India Worldwide Pageant to identify and honor beauties of Indian origin the world over and the show graduated to become the top most international Indian pageant on the earth. “For the first time ever, Asian-Indian communities from all over the world came together in New York for this event,” says Saran with a sense of pride. “To the best of our knowledge, no other ethnic organization has ever conducted a pageant of this magnitude on an international level.”
The pageant was an instant success and was acclaimed as the most glamorous Indian function in the world. “When Miss India New York started in 1980, I had perhaps not even in my wildest dreams imagined that in less than twenty years, we would fledge out to be a mass movement with affiliates in over 40 countries, let alone that we would one day have a live internet webcast and broadcast our most prestigious function, the Miss India Worldwide, to an audience of over 300 million people!”
The pageants aim to honor achievement, to celebrate our culture in many ways, among them, the ability to meet people, make friends, to respect and be respected, to continually strive to improve standards, and to live a life as close to the laws of nature.
In line with other prestigious international pageants, IFC started staging Miss India Worldwide in various parts of the world. In 1997, the pageant was organized in Bombay to salute India on its 50th anniversary of Independence. In the year 1998, the pageant was organized, in association with UTV International, in the exotic and beautiful city of Singapore, South Afrcia, Malyasia, UAE, Surinam and several other states in the US.
In addition, she uses the many social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others, to enhance her life’s mission. Through Shree Saini YouTube page, she wants to spread her message by creating short videos of discussions on social issues, college life, raising awareness of important organizations and human rights, as well as anything to help the community.
Shree won the Miss India USA after many years of focus and practice, participating and winning in several pageants. Shree has competed in a number of pageants within the Miss America organization. She was the first runner-up at Miss Moses Lake 2014, Miss Seattle 2016 and Miss Seattle 2017. She also won the Miss Seattle People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2017, and Miss Congeniality, Highest Fundraiser, Director’s Award. All her pageant exposure has served as a platform for what she truly loves, in spreading awareness against bullying and other social issues. As Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, says, “Shree has used her platform to spread her story of perseverance, tolerance and heart health.”
Miss India USA was started by the New York-based community leaders Dharmatma Saran and Neelam Saran, under the banner of the India Festival Committee around 36 years ago, Miss India USA is the longest running Indian pageant outside India. “It has evolved over the years. Earlier, the participants of pageants presented their talent around Bollywood dance and songs and classical dances. But now pageant participants come out with their own innovations,” Dharmatma Saran said.
Saran contributions to Indian culture has been appreciated and recognized by various organizations around the world and he has been acclaimed as “India’s cultural ambassador to the world.” He has traveled with his wife Neelam to various countries to start Indian pageant. Recently he was awarded Bharat Gaurav Award held at the headquarters of United Nations in New York.