Suman Rao Exclusive Interview: “I’m Happy To Make India Proud”

Mohnish Singh |Dec 30, 2019

Suman Rao represented India at the recently concluded Miss World pageant and emerged as second runner-up at the glitzy event which saw participation from 111 countries.

Suman Rao needs no introduction! The gorgeous model, who was crowned Miss India 2019, represented India at the recently concluded Miss World 2019 pageant in ExCeL London, and emerged as 2nd runner-up and as Miss World Asia.

STARBIZ caught up with Suman Rao after she landed back in the country, and talked to her about a lot of things. The beauty pageant winner tells us how did she feel representing India at a global platform like Miss World 2019 pageant, the unending support she gathered from her parents and much more. Suman Rao also talks in detail about her pet project Pragati. Excerpts…

Suman Rao Exclusive Interview

How did it feel representing India on a global platform like Miss World 2019 pageant?

It feels really great. It was a moment of pride for me to be able to make my country proud and, at the same time, winning third place at Miss World. It really means a lot because there were 111 countries this year and out of them India was able to make it to the top three. So, I am really happy to make all of you proud and I think this was the least I could do for my country.

Suman Rao Exclusive Interview

You belong to the state of Rajasthan. Was it easier for you to kind of break the mould and participate in Femina Miss India?

I would actually like to clear this perception about Rajasthan. Yes, we have had a lot of things in relation to Rajasthan when it comes to women because of the fact that we have heard a lot of cases about women in Rajasthan that we are not getting equal rights, which is the fact. But, yes, we are changing. It is not about the entire state, it is about certain places in that state where the change is yet to come but we are there, we are getting there. And work is still in progress.

Yeah, I represented Rajasthan because I come from that state. I was born in Rajasthan and brought up in Mumbai. I am from a typical Mewari family. I just wanted a platform to actually voice my opinions because I knew how important it is to not just be a part of society and not just exist but actually be a useful part of society where you can give back to society and be useful to it. So, it is very important for all of us to contribute our bit towards the progress of the society and this can be done only when all of us get equal rights and we are allowed to do whatever we want to do. That’s why I just took this cause and represented Rajasthan and worked for the state.

Suman Rao

Tell us something about your project Pragati.

Project Pragati focuses on women empowerment, making women financially independent, so that they can make their own decisions. They can feel free enough to be strong, confident and be themselves. That’s what project Pragati focuses on.

Could you please tell us about it in detail?

With this project, what we did was that we made sure that we understand that what were women looking for, because it was very important for us to make them realize that how important it is for them to understand the importance of being independent and having their own choices and not be dependent on anyone else. When we were actually trying to understand what these women were looking for, I made sure that I understand their needs and accordingly I generate employment opportunity for them so that they are happy doing what they do and, at the same time, earn and feel free and confident about themselves. And that’s what Pragati did. We understood their need. We made sure we provide a solution to that.

Suman Rao

We have a unit now in my village where women are actually using their own skill sets, making beautiful products, handicrafts which are being sold online, sold at City Palace in Rajasthan. Then we have a unit in Tribal area where women, who are familiar with agricultural work, are working at a unit where we make finished products out of the raw material. We make aloe vera juice, gel and shampoo. And there is so much that women are doing with that. So, based on their skill set they have, we have developed some unites where they are working, they are earning and this is how project Pragati is progressing right now.

You are a Kathak dancer also, right?

I have only done four years of training. I have not completed my training. Yes, I am planning to complete it now. My Guruji is waiting for me. She is like, ‘Just come back and complete your course because you have only complete four years.’ I want to complete it because I have started it and I don’t like things to be left in the middle. I would love to complete it. I just want to get done with things that I have right now and then coordinate with things that I have to complete.

Did your family support you when you told them about participating in Miss India?

Yes, of course. They supported me that is why you see me here today with this sash. I want all parents to support their children. It is very important for you to understand them. I know there is a generation gap. Sometimes it becomes difficult for you all as parents to understand. You have to take care of everything because you are a part of a particular society, so you have to look after the traditions and the customs. But, at the same time, it is very important to understand what your children are looking for.

So, I think that understanding is very important between parents and children, so that they can come to a common point and decide. Everything has to be done with communication. Just communicate your thoughts, find out a solution, come to a certain point and you will have a solution for that. That worked for me. I was always communicating everything with them and they understood me and my dreams and rest is history.

>>> Related post: A Look Back At Manushi Chhillar Way To Miss World Crown Before Her Bollywood Debut


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