Bhubaneshwar, May 5 : Along the line of country's most coveted beauty pageant 'Miss India', Orissa crowned little young beauties from all over the country, in a talent based contest titled 'Little Miss India' on Sunday.
Little girls from 16 states vying for the beauty title participated in the annual event in Bhubaneshwar, which started as a local contest and has become a nationwide craze. Organised by 'Nanhi Pari' (Little Fairy) organisation, the contest is aimed at providing a platform to little girls to come forth and make a mark for themselves in the world of beauty contests. "The main motto behind this programme is to give a good platform to the young girls who are very talented but they don't get that platform which they require actually. Slowly and steadily it has gained popularity and it has become a national event now," said Prangya Das, Joint Secretary, Nanhi Pari.
The girls from the age group of 10-12 years exuded poise and confidence as they walked down the ramp for the judges' scrutiny.
The little contestants were judged on the basis of their looks, general knowledge, talent and intelligence by a panel of eminent personalities.
After passing through numerous rounds, little Bagmeshree Das from Orissa was crowned 'Little Miss India' by the judges.
Extremely pleased with her selection, she expressed a desire to be a part of many more such beauty pageants in future.
"I am feeling very happy. If next year this organization will be starting a 'Little Miss Universe' so I think I will try to participate if they allow," said Bagmeshree.
Out of the 1237 applications received by the contest authorities, 30 were selected to fight it out for the title in the semi-final and final rounds.
The winners were awarded with cash prizes and gift hampers worth thousands of rupees to honor their victory in the contest.
The contest was first held in 2001.