Sakina Nanji

Age: 16
Height: 5’ 2”

My main interest is Cultural Event Management where I am able to organize events for the South Asian Student Association (SASA) at my High School. Being a Secretary at SASA, I’ve organized events like International night, Bollywood Bash (a mixer for South Asian High School students in the Northern Virginia area, organized to raise money for CORDUSA, a secular, non-profit that aims to help Indian communities create a sustainable program to aid in their holistic welfare), Holi, etc. I danced Bollywood in India for 4 years, and have choreographed Bollywood and Bhangra dances for various events I’ve organized. I’ve been a head of decorations for International Night and am also currently on the decorations subcommittee for prom at my high school.

My other hobby is helping for a charity by voluntary work and fund raising. Being a Social Ambassador for IDF (Indian Development Foundation, charity for tuberculosis), I am working on creating a Mid Atlantic Chapter of the IDF here in the DC Metropolitan area. In the past, I have received two awards for ‘Excellence in Resource Generation’ from IDF and I would like to make a difference in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis by participating in resource mobilization for humanitarian causes.

Favorite color:


Future Plans:

As a rising junior, I have registered for 5 AP classes next year, plan on being an officer in the South Asian Student Association at my High School for a second consecutive year, I am also an organizing chair for cultural events like International Night, Bollywood Bash, Holi. Next year will also be my first year being a student ambassador at my school. I’m also looking forward to being a mentor in our schools Mentor-Mentee program (M&M) for the freshman students coming this fall. I am also planning to take part in Langley’s Fashion Show again, since it was such a great experience making new friends, choreographing a dance routine, and being styled by Paul Mitchell makeup artists.

I have an equal passion in science and technology and that makes it difficult to choose. So, I’m planning to merge the 2 components to pursue a degree in Cryptology Science with a major in Digital Forensics in a few years.

Why you entered The Miss India-DC Pageant?

Being the youngest contestant, I would like to inspire other South Asian girls in pressured environments, such as high school -where they often feel the need to “fit-in” and not be an outsider- to stay true to their roots and come forward to be a part of the Indian culture and showcase their talent and diversity.

What 3 words sum you up?

The first and foremost is Artistic; this quality has evolved a lot of my talents including still life photography, painting which brought laurels such as ‘Best Artwork’ in a Talent Competition, Best Design in a Design and Technology project and has also inspired me to draw portraits of my role model, Deepika Padukone.

The second word that describes me is Passionate which is instrumental in accomplishing my dreams and goals that I aspire. I put my heart and soul in every project that I’m passionate about.

The third word that describes me is Unique. I’m not a stereotype person who would just be influenced by. I’m true to myself and a distinct individual who always sticks to the principles and roots that I belong to no matter where I live or which glass ceiling I will break in my career ladder.

What is an interesting fact about you that not many know?

An interesting fact that people don’t know about me is that although I was born in the United States, I moved here from India 4 years ago. During that experience, I got the rich experience of our culture and heritage and most importantly the values of our roots and being grateful for what I have.

If you were a super hero, what would your super power be?

If I were a super hero my talent would be time travel. I would use it to prevent major crises from occurring and would also use it to avert dangerous situations that I would already know are going to occur in someone’s life.

If you could take three things to a desert island what would they be and why?

I would like to take my parents and my best friend, but I guess I have to choose 3 ‘things’. So in that case, it would be more realistic to take my emergency kit which would include all the basic essentials of survival like first aid, flash lights, basic tools, etc. Second, I would take non perishable edible items and third, I’d take pictures of my parents and my best friends whom I’m sure to miss.

Most embarrassing moment:

When I was in 5th grade, I had to give a speech in front of my entire school, around 1000 students. I walked on stage and completely blanked. All I could remember was the first sentence, and my teacher had to assist me in finishing off a paragraph and I managed to mumble some sentences off the top of my head and walk off stage. Ever since then, I practiced speaking in front of large crowds to get rid of my stage fright, including giving presentations to over 3000 people.

Worst nightmare:

My worst nightmare would definitely be losing my parents. I am thankful for them every day, and can’t honestly cannot imagine living in a world without their love and support.

Biggest inspiration:

My biggest inspiration is definitely Deepika Padukone. Ever since she joined the Bollywood industry, she has given it a whole new perspective. The way she transformed from her role as “Shantipriya” in her first movie, ‘Om Shanti Om’, to “Leela” in her most recent movie, ‘RamLeela’, amazes me. She is truly one of the most talented actresses in the industry, filming for her roles as “Naina”, a shy and nerdy medical student in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, “Meena”, the daughter of a local Don of Kumban village with wide Southern influence in ‘Chennai Express’ and “Leela”, daughter of a chieftain of a Guajarati village caught in a “Romeo-Juliet” kind of situation in ‘RamLeela, all at the same time. Her dancing skills are remarkable as well and I’ve watched all of her performanes, ranging from performances at annual award shows such as IIFA or Filmfare, or even watching Behind-the-scenes videos of music videos from her various movies. The amount of effort she puts into any performance, acting or dancing, shows how passionate she is about it, just like me. She endures pain and practices diligently and does not give up, always giving a perfect performance, and I strive to be like her every day.

If you knew today was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it?

I would spend my last day with my near and dear ones without letting them know that this is my last day on Earth and by thanking the Almighty for everything and apologizing for my sins.  I would definitely live my life to the fullest that day, because knowing it’s your last opportunity to have or experience something and let it go to waste, is just senseless.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten:

Just be yourself

Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years from now, I would have accomplished my dream of becoming ‘Miss India DC 2014’ and would have been an inspiration to young girls in our community to achieve their dreams. I would have used my title to organize various charity events for many Indian non-profit organizations such as CORDUSA and IDF (of which I am currently a social ambassador) , and would be a successful professional in Cryptology Science/Cyber Forensics working to solve the biggest global challenge of preventing cyber crimes in this Digital Age. I would be happily settled in my domestic life too.

Open Text: (Ask people to come support you)

Hi! My name is Sakina Nanji. Participating in the 20th Annual Miss India DC Pageant is definitely going to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life and I would like to invite all of you to come and support me and my fellow contestants! It would mean so much to me to see family and friends in the audience cheering and applauding for us.

  • Artistic
  • Passionate
  • Unique