The 26th annual Mr. & Miss India America Pageant & Elite Awards Ceremony Charity Gala was held on August 25, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel in Los Angeles. Produced each year by Jinnder Chohaan, the charity gala supports JAGRITI, a non-profit organization that deals with domestic violence victims and issues in the South Asian community in the US, providing strong support to unite the voice of celebrities from Hollywood and Bollywood and to raise awareness towards combating domestic violence.
This year, Paul Sorvino was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The legendary actor attended the event with his wife Dee Dee, and was presented the award by E! founder Larry Namer and actress/model Claudia Graf. He gave a heartfelt acceptance speech about the cultural connection between India and the United States, his personal experience with domestic violence that his mother endured and described himself as a “feminist.” Also known for his opera talents, Mr. Sorvino capped off his speech with a few lines from the aria Nessun Dorma, delighting the audience.
Porscha Coleman presented the International Media Legacy Award to Daphna Edwards Ziman, President, Cinemoi USA, who also give an impassioned speech about this issue of domestic abuse and human trafficking. Fashion stylist GK Reid presented KFC heiress Kaila Methven, CEO/founder of Madame Methven, with the Global Designer of the Year.
2018 pageant winners included:
Seerat Chopra – Miss India America
Vimal Moorti – Mr. India America
Sugouri Batra – Miss India Globe
Shank Ramesh – Mr. India Globe
Vinita Khilani – Miss India North America
Amandeep Singh – Mr. India North America
Sonia Grover – Ms. India America
Shivangi Pandi – Mrs. India North America
Manshi Nawab – Mrs. India California
In attendance were Alex Rose Wiesel, Beverly Todd, Bodvar Hafström, Catarina Mendoza (Where’s Catarina), Celeste Thorson, Claudia Graf, Daphna Edwards Ziman, Dustin Quick and Medi EM, Eugenia Kuzmina, GK Reid, Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri, Jaiden Kaine, Dr. Jacqueline Nguyen & Dr. Rakesh, Jezlan Moyet, Jinnder Chohaan, Josie Goldberg, Kaila Methven, Katherine Pacino, Krystle Lina, producer Larry Kasanoff, E! founder Larry Namer, Latavia Roberson, Natalija Ugrina, Parveen Kaur, Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino, Dr. Peyman Gravori, Pilar Holland, Porscha Coleman, Rod Sherwood, Dr. Shalini Kapoor, Shalini Vadhera & Tony Potts, Sonika Vaid (American Idol), H.E. Zulfiquar Ghadiyali & Mubarakka Lokhandwala Ghadiyali, and many others.
Sponsors include Dr. J’s Natural, My Power of One, VeeTee Rice, Beauty Kitchen, Craig Shelly Beverly Hills, Femargent, Bodvár – House of Rosés, and others.