India LaRoda : The Woman Who Gives Voice To The Underprivileged

She has always wanted to make a difference. The gorgeous India LaRoda won the prestigious title of Miss India America 2017 in Los Angeles. As the first African-Indian titleholder she chose to use her voice to be an advocate for diversity - "Being a representation of two cultures with a highly coveted crown that recognizes me as the first in 25 years, makes this not only monumental but a symbol of expressing to young girls and women of multi-racial backgrounds that you are powerful, worthy, and beautiful because you are being you and embracing the roots of who you are." she explained

The beauty queen would like to encourage underprivileged women and children all across the world to leave their mark, strive for their wildest dreams and never stop until they reach their biggest goals - "This cause became special to my heart during my spiritual pilgrimage to India when I was about ten years old. I saw firsthand the conditions of low-income families and helpless children."

Living in a society today that undervalues inner beauty, it is important for her to emphasize that inner beauty is the key to being successful and finding your purpose. She is proud to say that she has become active brand ambassadors for a couple of non-profit organizations that exemplify what she stands for. She is participating as well in panel discussions with neuro-psychologists, pediatricians, and universities that are advocates for other issues. In October, she will be receiving the Women’s of Purpose award for breaking the glass-ceiling and being the pedastal to give multiracial women the courage to strive for greatness by simply being exactly who you are and embracing that. 

So, who is India LaRoda ? She is a full-time student double majoring in English and Biology, with a minor in French. Her educational endeavors are a stepping stone to one day becoming a pediatrician. She also received her Behavioral Technician certification to become a registered behavioral interventionist for children with special needs. As she continues to study to be a pediatrician, she wants to be able to have the personal experience of working with children who have special needs.

Here we bring you the untold facts about India’s life and also her ideas, objectives and opinions… Have a look!

You won the title of Miss India America. What does it entail?

Being Miss India America entails reigning with a purpose. Being recognized as the first African American and East Indian to win this title in 25 years, I have a great podium to be able to make positive changes on behalf of two cultures and two powerful democratic countries.  

What does it feel to represent the Indian community in the United States?

It is truly an honor to be able to represent the Indian community in the United States.  It is a responsibility that I am well prepared for as I have graduated from Sathya Sai Baba’s Bal Vikas program; this is equivalent to Sunday school. I am also fortunately able to represent the African American community in the United States as well. I’m thankful that my parents allowed my siblings and I to embrace both cultures during our upbringing, and now with my platform, I am able to represent equally and respectfully both communities that embody who I am.


You are African/Indian/American. What makes you the proudest of your culture?

I am proud of the evolution my culture has endured and continues to surpass. The ancestors that derived from my culture who have triumphed through hardships, and ultimately created an outlet of freedom and equality that allows future generations like myself to be in a position that I am in today is a victory and responsibility for me to continue.   

Your platform is being an advocate for diversity, a voice for underprivileged women and children, and women empowerment. How will you use your title to promote it? Why did you choose this cause?

This lead to my advocacy for women empowerment; being part of this pageant has allowed me to face my insecurities and embrace them.  Lastly, being a voice for underprivileged women and children As Miss India America and as the little 10-year-old girl inside of me witnessed, I want to be their voice for change. I’m 

We’ve all seen the stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants, a la Miss Congeniality, spreading peace, love, and beauty throughout the world. How do you think you'll make a difference?

The stereotypical portrayals of pageant contestants spreading “peace, love, and beauty,” are actually part of the pageantry realm. As a positive representation of a Queen, let alone a woman, we should all conduct ourselves with peace, love, and embrace our beauty both physically and internally.  As a beauty queen, I hope to make a difference through my podium using the five core humanistic values I have learned through my Bal Vikas teachings which are: Peace, Truth, Love, Non-Violence, and Right Conduct.  Having these tools be the foundation of the woman I am today, I plan to continue my advocacy by being a proactive ambassador, participating in panels, visiting children's’ hospitals, and continuing my education to become a pediatrician. Ultimately, I hope to further my journey as a strong independent bi-racial humanitarian, beauty queen, and student.


What would you advise any young girl out there who has a dream of being a queen one day?

My advice is to be yourself and understand that the only way to grow as a person is to get out of your comfort zone. It is important that a queen exemplifies her truest self because that is her superpower. I also want to add that a crown and sash does not define you as a ‘queen.’  All of us are queens in our own way; if you conduct yourself as a queen, then you are a queen. 

Who is your ideal beauty queen and how has she helped you to evolve as a beauty queen?

My ideal beauty queen is my mother. I call her super-mom because of her endless determination and strength to be the best version for not only herself but for her family, and she does everything with unconditional love. My mother, Indira LaRoda, has shaped me into a beauty queen by teaching me the tools to be an intellectual woman, that stands on my own feet, while knowing my worth and the power of my voice.