Pallavi Durua has been crowned as the first Tribal Queen at the Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen competition. The event was held at Utkal Mandap in Bhubaneswar on June 24. Pallavi, who hails from Koraput, was overjoyed upon winning the title.

Panchami Majhi of Titlagarh and Rashmirekha Hansdah of Mayurbhanj were the first and second runners-up of the pageant respectively.

“I had never expected that I will be the winner of the event. I am extremely happy that I am crowned as the first Tribal Queen of the country,” said Pallavi.

The beauty contest was the first of its kind. The competition was organized by Kalinga Gaurav and the winners were announced from seven different categories, including tribal attire, photogenic face, best skin, best personality, the best presentation of ornaments, the best presentation of own culture and best in talent. The jury of the event included guests from national and state-level. They were headed by Padma Shri Tulasi Munda, who is also the ambassador of the event.

“I thank Kalinga Gaurav for organising this event where I got an opportunity to represent my tribe here in the presence of many dignitaries and huge gathering,” she told the media.

“Many tribal girls like me are not allowed to move around or study. After winning this crown, I hope I can be an example for others and they will also shed the superstitions and face the world,” – Pallavi Durua

Panchami Majhi, the first runner-up, said, “It is one of the best platforms for us, the tribals, to come forward. I will never forget my tribe, tradition, language and culture wherever I may go and whatever I may become as it is because of them I am here.”

The trio will also feature in a short movie on tribal culture which will be produced by a Mumbai-based producer.

The event was supported by the SC & ST Department, Government of Odisha and the State Tourism Department. The beauty pageant was conducted with the prime objective to uplift tribal women, promote tribal art and culture. The girls dressed in their traditional attire and walked the ramp. Over 150 contestants from 25 different states participated in the pageant. Twenty contestants made it to the finale.

“Today, we have created history. We have conducted a national level programme, highlighting tribal cultures of our country. A ‘rani’ or a ‘queen’ is not only about beauty. Usually, when we talk about tribes, we represent them through their dance or art form. Through this contest, we have tried to give them their individual identity,” said Dr Chidatmika Khatua, Chief Secretary General of the award committee.

Picture Credit: InUth.com

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Apoorva Lamba is an intern with SheThePeople.tv

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