Miss India Worldwide spoke to The Asian Today
Nehal Bhogaita is woman who has defied expectation. After being born deaf she decided that her disability would not deter her from achieving her dreams. Nehal’s accomplishments are inspiration. She spoke to The Asian Today about her crowning of Miss India Worldwide.
1. Tell me about yourself.
My name is Nehal Bhogaita, I live in Leicester and I am profoundly deaf from birth. I am currently holding the title of Miss India Worldwide 2013. I have two jobs. The first one is a Community Support Worker at Action Deafness where I support and aim to give my clients more confidence in adapting to the wider society of today, as they too have hearing difficulties. The second is a beauty therapist in a Health and Beauty Salon.
2. What made you want to enter the competition?
My mum and sister entered me into Miss India Worldwide as they know that I have always wanted to participate in a pageant from a very young age. When they found out I was through to the regional round they told me. I was so happy! I have always wanted to break barriers in society and show people that deaf people can also do everything hearing people do.
3. Who are your role models?
Mother Theresa has always been a role model to me as she helped people that were not even her own; this is exactly what I want to do. In the dancing side of life, Madhuri Dixit is my role model as she is the one who inspired dance to me.
4. You are seen as a role model to many people. What do you say to those who are in the same situation as you?
The advice I always give is to never give up on what you want to do. It is hard for everyone to reach where they want to be but for disabled people it is twice as hard. You may face many rejections however let that make you stronger, not break you. Believe in yourself because if you don’t then nobody will. Having a disability isn’t an obstacle but an opportunity to exemplify that nothing is impossible. Simply Dream Believe Achieve.
5. How did you feel when you realised you had won the title of Miss India Worldwide 2013?
I was ecstatic, I just couldn’t believe it! I was finally able to be proof to the statement ‘nothing is impossible’. I feel that I can now be a role model and inspire people like me to reach for their goals in life.
6. Growing up, how was it dealing with your condition?
I can definitely say that life has not been easy for me, it has been a bumpy ride with many highs and lows but I have always tried to not let my disability be an obstacle in what I have wanted to do.
7. Could you describe a time in your life when your condition was difficult to handle?
I have been treated differently by people at many stages of life due to my deafness. An example is where I was refused to take a dance exam due to being deaf. Incidents like these did really pull me down but I picked myself up again and proved those people wrong.
8. Other than the competition; what are your hobbies?
A huge passion in my life is dancing. I have been dancing since the age of 11. Though I can’t hear the music I dance by feeling the vibrations through my feet. I have performed at many events around the UK and the world. I have also entered many competitions such as Boogie Woogie, where I won the UK Duet Champions award with my sister, and Star Plus’ Hrithik Roshan’s Just Dance where I reached the UK’s top 14 and had the opportunity to perform in front of director and choreographer Farah Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant. Currently I am raising money for Action Deafness and Cancer Research which are both close to my heart.
9. What does the future hold for you?
I want to carry on with my charity work and travelling. I want to visit as many deaf and disabled schools around the world to inspire as many children as I can in achieving their dreams. Another dream of mine has always been to act or dance in Bollywood. I have never seen a real deaf or disabled person act in a film, the role is always acted out by an able bodied person. People like me should also be given a chance in films to show that we are also capable of acting.