MUSCAT, Sept 16 – Acclaimed model who has worked for the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) campaign has won the Mrs India Empress 2018 second runner-up title at a beauty pageant held in the Indian city of Pune. “It was a dream come true,” said Priyah Prakash Pawani, a resident of Muscat for nearly 10 years. She has acted in short films and shared screen space with well-known Omani actors.
“I knew for sure I would make it after the preliminary rounds,” said Priyah, who is also a fashion designer.
Her answer to the question, ‘Does social media join people or separate them?’ won her the second runner-up title.
“Social media indeed bridges gaps between people living far away, but it also separates our neighbours from us because people tend to overlook others who are close by and keep connected with friends from far,” was Priyah’s answer, which came in for praise from the judges.
Priyah’s costumes were designed by a Muscat-based designer, Pushpa Negi.
Winners were selected in two categories: Silver (aged 20 to 34) and Gold (35 years and above).
Gaurangi Shrawat, a doctor by profession, was crowned Mrs India — Empress of the Nation 2018 — Silver; Vrrushali Taayadey was first runner-up — Silver.
The grand finale, attended by celebrities from Bollywood and other eminent personalities from the city, saw 32 contestants.
The jury for the final comprised Miss World 1999 Yukta Mookhey, Mrs World 2001 Aditi Govitrikar, singer Shibani Kashyap, Mrs Tourism 2005 Sonal Chauhan and actor Sharhaan Singh, along with Vinay Aranha, Sapna Anand Chhajed, Dr Akshaya Jain and Karl Mascarenhas, all pageant organisers.
Priyah has been a part of animal welfare organisations and a volunteer for Omani Paws, an NGO. She is engaged in social service, besides pursuing a career in fashion designing and modelling. Priyah and her friend, Antara Bose were the faces of PACP billboards and bus advertisements that sought to educate the people on lawful trade practices.

KABEER YOUSUF