Uttar Pradesh's Manya Singh was crowned runner-up at the recently concluded VLCC Femina Miss India 2020. But it was Singh's struggle to success story that has struck the right chord with people.
In an Instagram post, Singh opened up about the hurdles she had to face since childhood. An auto-rickshaw driver's daughter, she had to start working from a young age to support her family's financial requirements.
"I've spent numerous nights without food and sleep. I've spent many afternoons walking for miles on end. My blood, sweat, and tears have amalgamated into courage to pursue my dreams. Being a rickshaw driver's daughter, I never had the opportunity to attend school as I had to start working in my teens. All the clothes I had were hand-me-downs. I yearned for books, but luck wasn't in my favour. Eventually, my parents mortgaged whatever little jewellery my mother had to ensure that I paid my exam fees in order to earn a degree. My mother has suffered a lot to provide for me," she said.
Singh ran away from home and was juggling several jobs to sustain herself. She would attend classes in the day, washing dishes part-time in the evening and worked at a call centre at night.
"At 14, I ran away from home. I somehow managed to complete my studies in the day, became a dishwasher in the evening and worked at a call centre at night. I've walked hours to reach places so I could save the rickshaw fare. I am here today at the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 stage to uplift my father, my mother, and my young brother and to show the world that all is possible if you are committed to yourself and your dreams," she added.