24-year-old manual scavenger wins beauty pageantNovember 19th, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) Once a manual scavenger, Indira Athwal was crowned New Princess-2011 on the occasion of World Toilet Day here Saturday.
The 38 contestants in the unique beauty pageant were former manual scavengers hailing from Alwar and Tonk in Rajasthan.
Athwal, who hails from Alwar, was crowned by Bollywood actress and former Miss India Neha Dhupia.
“I am really happy to be among these people who have suffered so much and continue to smile. I will tell my Bollywood friends about them,” said Dhupia.
Twenty-two-year-old Dolly Parwana was declared the first runner-up while Tulsi, 21, was adjudged the second runner-up.
The contest was organised by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, an NGO that works for upliftment of sanitation workers.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla, who was also present on the occasion, appreciated the efforts of the NGO in eradicating the degrading practice of manual scavenging.
“Lakhs of people have joined the movement spearheaded by this organization. We have to educate people on the issue of untouchability. Apart from Brahmins, people belonging to other castes also should be made aware of the evils of this issue,” he said.
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Tags: alwar, beauty pageant, castes, evils, indira, lakhs, manual scavengers, minister of state, miss india, neha dhupia, parliamentary affairs, parwana, princess 2011, sanitation workers, service organisation, shukla, tonk, tulsi, untouchability, upliftment