“I believe that winning or being empowered is a state of mind as well’ Alankrita Sahai, our very own, Miss India Earth reiterated the importance of owning one’s own narrative by harnessing the power that is within all of us because we are stronger than the adversities constantly trying to succumb us within it. It is our maneuver that delineates our narrative. True empowerment comes from within, it transpires from evolving as a phlegmatic and compassionate soul filled with gratitude and inner beauty. It is only when one can embody the true meaning of living life to the fullest, that the stereotypes and everything that inhibits us to be in peace will vanish. Magic prevails within us. All we need to do is to believe in the magical potential and see the miracle unfold before our eyes. Reflect over your life’s journey, take pride in how far you have come, and remember we fall, just to pick ourselves up so that when we reach the end of the tunnel, everything will reflect the resilience of a true warrior. Alankrita Sahai gets on a candid conversation with The Voice Of Woman and spoke about her way to the pinnacle and the struggle of constant judgments that exist in the life of a celebrity. You were honored with the title of ‘Miss India Earth’. How did that change your life? Winning the title of Miss India Earth for me was both an honour and a privilege. It changed my life in many ways. The title has expanded several prospects for me, like it opened doors to a new career altogether, provided me with the platform to express myself and help others. The fame and the after-effects that I have experienced after winning the title are absolutely wonderful yet it always keeps me grounded to my roots. How was the competition like at such a premium level? Was there any moment that made you apprehensive? Yes, I was scared and apprehensive as it was my first time. There were participants who had been working towards this goal for years as they dreamt of this moment since their early days. On the contrary, I had prepared for just a few weeks and the next moment I was there representing India. But I was confident and very comfortable in my own skin so I did my best and I enjoyed it. The first round made me a little apprehensive as I didn’t win that but after that, I won everything back to back. Do you think competition amongst women is tougher than the gender-neutral competition? I believe that gender-neutral competition is much tougher than competition amongst women. Expectations from two physiologically different individuals, the issue of the pay gap, the adaptation, and the performance levels, perspectives, and a host of other things that are different. Hence there is a constant need to compete, to be able to bridge the gaps that are generated because of gender bias. What are Alankrita Sahai’s biggest career aspirations? My biggest career aspirations would be to have my own show like Ellen De Genres and Oprah Winfrey. Also to travel for my work all over the world like Priyanka Chopra. What drives Alankrita Sahai to succeed? The love of my family and the hatred of those people who criticise my each and every action are the two things that drive me to success. I strive to balance both. The idea is to utilise the positive and the negative to evolve as a better and stronger person which would foster further advancements. This helps me to move forward and learn in the process. What makes Alankrita Sahai feel empowered? Do you feel women are empowered in today’s age? My mother makes me feel empowered. The battles that I have won, the adversities that I overcame, all these push me to never give up and give me the courage to move forward. She once told me to choose the battle that I am going to endure wisely. So I believe that winning or being empowered is a state of mind as well. Slowly women are getting there, yet we still have a long way to go and conquer. How does Alankrita Sahai show gratitude for the things that she already has? I have a journal and I make sure to take out some time to ponder and write about the things I’m grateful for. I wake up every morning and pray to show gratitude for whatever I have, had, and will have. What would Alankrita Sahai tell women so that they can be comfortable with their bodies and skin colour? To all the women out there, you are beautiful the way you are! All these stereotypes and negative words are not stronger than yourself. These exist to make us feel miserable than what we are capable of achieving, but the question is, are they more powerful than our potentials? No, they are not. We hold much more power over the difficulties we are facing. Our skin colour, body type does not define who we are. Change the narrative and the perspective changes. So instead of living by the norms and word pool of some really degenerative people who lack the sensibility of respecting individual personalities and the ability to accept people for who they are, break these shackles and be yourself. It’s worth the journey and it’s worth the try. What is Alankrita Sahai‘s diet and workout regime? I start my day by drinking a bottle of warm water with lemon and honey and green tea. I have broken my meals into small quantities however I make sure to get five meals a day. I drink a lot of water and eat healthily. Yes, I do indulge in junk too, once in a while. For me, balance is the key so I balance it out with a lot of alkaline food. Vitamin C is my go-to nutrient. I try and avoid too much maida and fried food. I like doing high-intensity workouts, Pilates, and yoga. Kickboxing is my absolute favourite. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? An important lesson that we should learn is: Attract what you expect. Respect what you desire. Become what you respect, And mirror what you admire. Are we doing enough to cover celebrity mental health sensitively? No, we are not doing everything. Being celebrated as celebrities comes with a cost too. Constant judgements and a lot of false stories spin around and how people add to that? They troll or engage in conversations that deplete one’s energy than uplifting it. People find ways to demoralise other human beings. No matter what, we need to find a way to be able to be true to ourselves and be honest about our struggles. We are humans as well. So the mental health of every individual needs to be dealt with sensitivity. Being kind is not easy. I can tell you the easiest thing is to be loving and kind but that becomes very hard when you are under constant scrutiny. Are you a feminist? What is your opinion on feminism? Yes, I believe in feminism. I believe in the principle of equality. It’s not about being at par, above or below to any other gender. It’s about living in harmony and co-existing peacefully. Feminism for me is also about treating me equally in the right way. It is about respecting my space and individuality, letting me be happy with my choices, and paying me right as you would to a man! Let all the women live freely without judging them and discriminating on the basis of gender. What would you want to advise your younger self? I would like to advise my younger self to stop being in a hurry and let life unfold its magic. Also, love yourself more. Why do you think it is important for a woman to have a voice of her own? Any special message you want to convey to the readers of The Voice of Woman? Yes, women should have a voice of their own. To be able to speak for yourself and others is an important thing. The disparities and the inequalities aren’t the only things to talk about women . There are many beautiful, successful, and brave stories out there. Women are the epitome of nurturing, giving, creating, and harnessing. Women are beautiful and also dangerous. Don’t mess with us. Lol! Yes, women have been silenced for way too long over the generations. Hence there are so many things that we need to talk about and stand up for and against. It’s not always about fighting battles, Rather it’s also about being you and embracing the power within you. . . .