Manya Singh (Femina Miss India 2020- Runner up): The Inspiring Journey from a Rickshaw Driver’s Daughter to Beauty Queen and Beyond


In the vast landscape of human ambition and achievement, there are stories that shine like beacons, stories that serve as guiding lights for those who dare to dream. Manya Singh’s remarkable journey from the daughter of a rickshaw driver in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, to becoming the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 Runner-Up, is one such tale of inspiration. It’s a story that captures the essence of dreams, determination, and resilience. Manya Singh’s life exemplifies the idea that with hard work, unwavering determination, and immense courage, one can defy the odds and conquer their dreams.

Early Life and Struggles of Manya Singh

Manya Singh, born on September 27, 2001, in Mumbai, is the embodiment of the classic rags-to-riches story. Raised in a humble household, she faced myriad hardships that often accompany financial constraints. Her father, Omprakash Singh, earned his livelihood as a rickshaw driver, while her mother, Manorama Singh, worked at a local parlor. Manya also has a younger brother named Aman Singh.

From a young age, Manya had a desire to participate in beauty pageants. However, the path to realizing her dreams was riddled with obstacles. She faced financial difficulties that made it hard to afford school fees, books, and uniforms. Discrimination by classmates and teachers for being the daughter of a rickshaw driver added to her woes. Despite these hardships, she never gave up on her education or her aspirations. She was determined to make her parents proud and demonstrate to the world that dreams know no bounds.

Manya attended Lohia Inter College in Sahwa, Uttar Pradesh, and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Insurance in Mumbai. To fund her education, she took up various jobs, working tirelessly to make ends meet. At the tender age of 14, she ran away from home and started working at Pizza Hut, where she washed dishes. She also took up a night shift job at a call center to support her college expenses.

In an Instagram post, she shared her struggles, saying, At the age of 14, Manya Singh left her home. She persevered, successfully completing her studies during the day, taking on a job as a dishwasher in the evening, and working at a call center during the night. She often walked for hours to reach her destinations, determined to save money that would otherwise be spent on rickshaw fares.

These formative years of her life were marked by hunger, sleepless nights, and the absence of basic amenities. Yet, Manya’s spirit remained unbroken. She worked diligently and even learned English by watching YouTube videos and reading newspapers. Her dedication was unwavering, and she continued to pursue her education, despite the many odds stacked against her.

Pursuing the Dream: Miss India

Manya Singh’s journey to become a beauty queen began with a dream. She had always been fascinated by the world of beauty pageants, admiring the grace and elegance of Miss India winners. Her path to the stage, however, was strewn with challenges.

She moved to Mumbai at the age of 14, armed with a mere Rs 3000 in her pocket, and dreams worth millions. Her journey was marked by tenacity and a fierce commitment to realizing her dreams. She worked as a dishwasher, waitress, and delivery girl to support herself and her family.

Despite numerous setbacks and the absence of a birth certificate, which was a requirement to participate in Miss India, Manya never gave up. She auditioned for VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 online and was selected as one of the finalists representing Uttar Pradesh. Her selection marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life.

Manya Singh underwent rigorous training and grooming sessions, guided by experts and mentors. Her unwavering confidence, intelligence, and charisma earned her a place among the finalists. On February 10, 2021, at the grand finale held at the Hyatt Regency Mumbai, Manya Singh etched her name in history by becoming the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 Runner-Up. She was crowned by Miss World Asia 2019 Suman Rao, and her achievements didn’t end there; she also won the Miss Rampwalk sub-contest at the pageant.

Manya’s victory in the beauty pageant was not just a personal achievement; it was an inspiration for countless young girls who hailed from modest backgrounds and faced similar life challenges. Her triumph resonated as a testament to the fact that, with determination, courage, and unwavering passion, one can turn their dreams into reality.

Modeling and Beyond

Manya Singh’s journey as a model and beauty pageant contestant was marked by hard work and perseverance. She had a deep-seated passion for the glamour and allure of the fashion world. She auditions for the Campus Princess contest more than ten times, but her initial attempts ended at the first round. However, her determination was unyielding, and she tirelessly worked to improve her skills and build her confidence.

Her journey in the world of fashion took her to renowned fashion shows like Times Fashion Week and Lakme Fashion Week. She also featured in various print advertisements for brands like Ahilya fine silver jewels.

In 2020, her big break came when she was crowned as Miss India Uttar Pradesh. Representing her state in the VLCC Femina Miss India 2020 contest, she dazzled judges and audiences with her grace, intelligence, and talent. Manya Singh was ultimately crowned as the 1st Runner-Up in this prestigious beauty pageant. Her triumph was a moment of pride not just for her, but for anyone who had ever dreamt big despite facing adversity. Manasa Varanasi from Telangana secured the Miss India World 2020 title, and Manika Sheokand from Haryana was crowned Miss Grand India 2020.

Using the Platform for Good: A Social Activist and Philanthropist

Manya Singh’s journey did not stop at the beauty pageant stage. She has used her platform and influence for the greater good, becoming a beacon of hope and change. Her social activism and philanthropic work include the following:

1. Supporting the education of underprivileged girls:

Manya firmly believes that education is the cornerstone of empowerment and societal transformation. She sponsors the education of five girls from her hometown, Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh. She actively visits schools and colleges to motivate and inspire young girls, encouraging them to pursue their dreams. She said, “I want to be a voice of change for girls who are facing oppression, discrimination, and violence in their lives. I want to tell them that nothing is impossible if you have the courage and determination to achieve it.”

2. Raising awareness about mental health:

Manya Singh has been candid about her own battles with mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. She champions the importance of mental health awareness and counseling, especially for women who confront various forms of stress and trauma. She’s making a strong point that our mental well-being is just as crucial as our physical health. We should work together to get rid of the shame and secrecy that surrounds mental health problems and not hesitate to get professional support when necessary.

3. Promoting women’s rights and empowerment:

Manya uses her status as a model and Miss India runner-up to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. She collaborates with various brands and campaigns that support women’s causes, including Sephora, Staunch India, and Ahilya fine silver jewels. She participates in events and initiatives that celebrate women’s achievements and contributions, such as Kashi Vaishvik Gaurav Sammaan, Dadasaheb Phalke Icon Award Film for The Most Inspiring Woman of the Year, and Global India National Stardom Award. She encourages women to be confident, independent, and successful, serving as a role model for those facing challenges and barriers in their lives.

Future Endeavors and Beyond

Manya Singh’s journey is still unfolding. She’s not just a beauty queen but also a social activist and philanthropist who strives to make a positive impact on society. She is currently preparing for further studies in Management and aims to leverage her platform to raise awareness about social issues and empower women.

Beyond her impressive academic and social endeavors, she’s actively pursuing an acting career and has signed projects with renowned production houses. Manya also maintains a strong online presence with more than 500,000 followers on Instagram, where she shares her personal style, engages with her fans, and conducts live sessions and stories.


Manya Singh’s story is a testament to the indomitable spirit of individuals who refuse to be defined by their circumstances. Her journey, from the shadows of a rickshaw to the glitz of the runway, is a source of inspiration for those who face adversity on their path to achieving their dreams. She reminds us that beauty is not just skin deep; it resides in the strength of one’s character, values, and vision.

Manya Singh’s life is a living example of courage, determination, perseverance, and hard work. Her tale demonstrates that nothing is impossible when you have a clear vision and the willpower to make it a reality. She has not only conquered her dreams but has also used her journey to inspire and motivate others. Manya Singh is indeed a role model for social change and empowerment, proving that the human spirit can overcome any obstacle and leave an indelible mark on the world. She is a beacon of hope, shining brightly for all those who dare to dream.

Manya Singh’s journey underscores the fact that dreams, no matter how audacious or seemingly unattainable, are within reach, and that with unwavering determination, hard work, and a belief in oneself, the impossible can be transformed into the possible. Manya’s life story encourages all of us to reach for the stars and to never give up on our dreams, no matter how difficult the path may seem. Her story is a beacon of hope, a symbol of what can be achieved with grit, resilience, and an unshakable determination to succeed. Manya Singh, the rickshaw driver’s daughter who became a beauty queen and a symbol of empowerment, is a true inspiration for us all.

Read about “Nandini Gupta (Femina Miss India World 2023): A Beauty Queen with a Purpose“.

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