Mumbai, Oct 10 (PTI) Ritika Khatani, who was crowned LIVA Miss Diva Supranational 2021, says being part of the entertainment industry was her lifelong dream.
The 19-year-old, born and raised in Pune, won the title in a ceremony held last week.
Brought up by a single mother who is a wedding planner, Khatani said she aims to pursue acting in future.
"Showbiz has been my ultimate goal. My passion, interest and love lies in acting. Even though pageantry was always given a thought, it was my mother who pushed me forward to embark in the world of pageants.
"Her dreams are my dreams. She motivated me to give it a shot and I believe it was all worth it now. My driving force, confidant, my mother gave me this opportunity, she's given me the wings to fly," Khatani told PTI.
For Khatani, currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in mass media and communication from Mumbai's Jai Hind College, her unshakable bond with her family was her strength.
"My mother, grandmother and brother are my pillars of strength. Celebrating every moment or going through the worst all together has made us even tighter... My family is what keeps me grounded, their teachings, ethics and principles carved me into this unstoppable woman," she added.
Winning the title of LIVA Miss Diva Supranational, Khatani said, means "everything" to her.
Having been labelled as "not good enough" for the longest time, this pageant has showcased her strength to the world, she believes.
"This is all I've ever wanted. It's my gateway to the world, to show the power I hold. A representation of myself to show every incredible individual the magic of a 19 year old... I had to deal with my own inner inhibitions, insecurities towards my path of journey." She will now be India's face at the international Miss Supranational 2021 competition, where the country has won twice with Asha Bhat in 2014 and Srinidhi Shetty in 2016.
Khatani said she is "beaming with joy" to represent the country on the global stage.
"There is a feeling of pride. With God's grace, I will bring back the crown! I'm not going to leave any stones unturned. Be it my communication or ramp walk skills, I will strive to be better with each passing day," she added.