Mumbai, Feb 28 (ANI): It is countdown time for the Miss India 2009 pageant in Mumbai.
Sixty-five dazzling contenders appeared at an event on Friday ahead of the contest, which is to be held on April this year. The sixteen finalists will be announced on March 9.
Some of the contestants were excited and enjoying the media attention.
"It's the most renowned and well known contest in the country. Just being a part of it, is amazing. I really hope that I am selected. I am really looking forward to the training," said Ridhima Shahni, a nineteen-year-old aspirant from Pune.
These contestants are to be put through an intensive training programme to ensure that the eventual winners fare exceptionally well at international pageants.
The finalists will undergo a month-long training under the supervision of experts and professionals.
Contestants are imparted training in catwalk, skin and hair care, make-up and grooming, diet and fitness, speech and diction, workshop on Indian heritage, culture, music and art.
"I tell them one thing, keep and maintain your Indian values and Indian culture that at end of the day when you go abroad and integrate in the modernization, globalization, you will that is what will make you the winner," said Marc Robinson, a contestant director.
India first won a Miss World title in 1966 with the crowning of Reita Faria. Thereafter, it took another 28 years for an Indian woman to secure another world beauty title.
In 1994, Sushmita Sen won the Miss Universe crown, while Aishwarya Rai secured the Miss World title. Both are now Bollywood actresses. (ANI)