Bollywood diva Karishma Kapoor judges Australia’s Indian beauty pageant

Reena Koak with Miss Australia – Touch the Soul winner Neekita Naidu (5th from left) and Mr Australia  Pavreet Singh (2nd from left) and runners up


By Neeru Saluja


Amidst beauty, glamour and grace, Bollywood diva Karishma Kapoor crowned the winners of Australia’s most successful running Indian beauty pageant ”“ Touch the Soul 2016.



MIA 1JPGDusky and svelte Neekita Naidu won the Miss India Australia 2016 title, HR professional, part time model and full time mum Kamini Saberwal won the Mrs India Australia title and dashing Pavreet Singh took away the Mr India Australia 2016 title. The first runner ups were Dimple Puri (Miss India Australia), Simran Gulati (Mrs India Australia) and Tushar Choudhary (Mr India Australia).

Miss India Australia ­Corporation Director and host Reena Koak has been dedicated towards this pageant since years and her hard work has paid off. The contest was not an event, it was an evening where Sydney witnessed a showcase of the best of beauty and brains from all over Australia.

Looking graceful in a white and gold Anamika Khanna creation, the timeless beauty Karishma Kapoor was the apt judge for the beauty pageant. But the rest of the judges were equally impressive. Ms Lebanon Australia Mary Mehajer joined hands with the graceful Rani Benepal, John Sidoti MP, Blacktown Mayor Stephen Bali and Kim Cancellier.


The first round started with the participants introducing themselves in traditional Indian attire. The 30  participants came from all over Australia to one platform to win the coveted title. After the desi round, the participants instantly brought some zing to the floor with the hot swimwear round. While the girls looked pretty adorning garlands, the boys didn’t miss the opportunity to show off their chiselled physique, muscles and tattoos. Surprisingly, the men got more cat whistles than the girls!

The MCs for the evening were Big Boss finalist Siddharth Bhardwaj and Miss India Australia 2015 Tanya Bali. While Tanya was composed and articulate on the stage, Siddharth was loud and outbrazen as an MC, at times irritating the crowd.

The audience was also entertained by a group of Brazilian dancers who set the stage on fire by dancing to Bollywood songs ”˜Munni badnam hue’, ”˜Munde to bach ke rahen’. The performers of Swastik Institute of Dance took the audience to the 90s by performing on a medley of Karishma Kapoor’s hit songs ”˜Mein albeli’, ”˜Unchi hai building’, ”˜Mehndi hai rachne vali’, ”˜Mujhko hue na khabar’.

In between the rounds, the mMIA 7eet and greet attendees were allowed to get their photographs clicked on stage with Karishma Kapoor. After the break, the contestants impressed the judges in their cocktail wear, followed by evening wear in white. But the round that proved their mettle was the question and answer round from the intelligent judging panel. The winners were obvious as they stood out with their best answers to difficult questions.


With the contest’s aim to celebrate womanhood and empowering men, actress Karishma Kapoor gave the audience her words of wisdom. “Growing up we were two girls. My mother always told me we were going to be strong women and I don’t need a son. This was the biggest compliment I got from my parent. Each woman is special in her own way, and so are you are. I’m proud to be a woman, an actor and I’m a very proud to be a mum! So here’s to all you young women, mums on the stage and wonderful men, you all are doing really well. But the most important thing of life besides woman empowerment, it’s important to be good human beings and strong people”.

Hoping that the winners of this contest will carry on these values, we wish them the best as they represent Australia in an international pageant!

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