In the finale round held in Mumbai on Friday, 10th February 2017, 31-year-old Darshan Mandhana was crowned Mr Gay World India (MGWI) 2017. Mandhana, an HR professional from Mumbai, had made it to the top three, along with Sai Ganesh Krishnamurthy from Bangalore and Rohan Pujari from Mumbai.

Last year, Anwesh Sahoo from Odisha had won this title. Mandhana had participated in MGWI twice before but didn’t make it. Speaking to mid-day, an overjoyed Mandhana said, “It is an honour to be winning a pageant that stands for a larger cause. I had made a lot of effort to prepare myself this year.” He hails from Jaiselpur near Kolhapur, Maharashtra, and says that the support of his family and the community played a key role. “My family loves me the way I am which gives me strength. My partner and the community were by my side and they guided me through the journey,” he says.

Mandhana’s entry would now be submitted to the world pageant, which is to be held in Spain this year. “It is a huge responsibility to be representing the community and the country at the world pageant,” he said. “The expectations are to build on a strong personality with respect to diction and body sculpting. There will be training sessions from experts as well.”

Commenting on Mandhana’s victory, National Producer of MGWI, Sushant Divgikar and Mr Gay World India 2014, said, “It is not just a beauty pageant, but about finding a global leader for the LGBT community. Mandhana’s never-give-up attitude was loved by the judges a lot and contributed to his victory,” said Divgikar. Coming from a modest background, Mandhana says, he stayed strong to reach this far. “This competition states that each one of us can stand up for ourselves and make a difference,” he signed off.

source credit Midday Newspaper Mumbai