“Challenges are good. Accept them, they help us grow” believes Deepali Phadnis, Founder and National Director of Mrs India Pageants and a former Mrs Asia International. She is a mentor and an inspiration to thousands of married women to break the stereotypes associated with marriage, step above and beyond the mundane and make a mark for themselves. She started Mrs India to give a platform to married women in India through which they can express themselves. In her own words – “We at Mrs India focus less on finding models and more on creating role models who can inspire women in our country”. Catering to an age group of above 18 years, this pageant is aimed at rebuilding confidence that women tend to lose after getting married and being focused on family and children. The competition accepts entries upto an age of 70 years as Deepali feels that age should never be a constraint in life. In fact, she pioneered the ‘Classic Category’ for the first time in India for women above 40 years of age as she thinks every woman is beautiful and every woman should feel beautiful.
The Making of a Role Model
In an interview with The Essence team, Deepali said “Being a woman is itself many times the essence of struggle of being a woman. Sometimes a woman has to give two times more efforts to prove her worth and yet she has to take criticism in return. Woman is a very easy target, people think it is very easy to corner her. Every success of a woman is assumed to come easy only because she is a woman, however, every smallest of small failure is attributed to her being a woman”.
She goes onto describe early days when she started Mrs India – “When I started doing this thing all alone without any support in an entirely new industry, I was not at all taken seriously. Everyone thought I cannot do it without any support. Everyone had a suggestion to take support but, no one came forward to support because according to them I will be a failure and they never wanted to be the part of something which is uncertain. Beauty industry expects a woman to be perfect in everything but when it comes to support and encourage her, she only gets criticism”.
World is very hypocritical about a woman’s success and failure
Fearless and passionate about creativity, Deepali says “I am very simple live and let live person! I love to take life as it comes to me and let things go when they want to. At the same time I am a no-nonsense woman. I do not mind going overboard for things which I feel are important to tackle but I never waste my time for unproductive nonsense. I never think twice to go out of way to address reasonable things in my life, I will never give-up until I achieve it. I have so much of clarity about everything I do so it is very difficult for anyone to put me down”. Deepali says that staying updated with ever changing trends is a big challenge – “By the time we accommodate to present trends, new trends pop-up from nowhere. These trends give you no choice but to adopt them or else one will be lost. However, these challenges give us opportunity as well to bring freshness and implement many creative ideas”.
Speaking about the impact of Mrs India revolution that she started, Deepali says, “I am happy and content, touching so many lives and inspire people to live life of their choice. I celebrate being own-self and that is what I aim at”. She has this beautiful message to all wonderful women out there – “Today is the Time of Woman. In the world, today’s woman is encouraged and appreciated, though there are many underlying challenges that she has to face but certainly, today’s woman is not living in as difficult situation that she did in yesteryears. So, this is your time. Make maximum out of it”.