Vidisha Baliyan, a 21-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar city, was crowned Miss Deaf World 2019 on July 22

The event was held in Mbombela, South Africa, where Vidisha bagged the title among 11 finalists from 16 participating countries. Vidisha, who is a modelling student of Asian Academy of Film & Television, posted several pictures of her hard-earned victory on Instagram.

Sharing her crowning moment she said she felt surreal to become ‘the first Indian to win in the Miss Deaf World Category’.

In one post, she briefly shared her life’s story. From the discrimination she had faced, to finding her strength as a tennis player.

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While being crowned as miss Deaf World would be etched in my memory for lifetime, the win was extra special to me for many reasons. . . As a hearing-impaired child, from not hearing the doorbell to being ignored by people, I’ve seen it all. But after seeing a meteoric rise in my sports career as a tennis player who earned the 5th rank in ‘Deaflympics’, tennis became as important as breathing. And then life’s another blow – a severe back injury left my hopes fractured. . . . Unable to see a reason to live, I didn’t give up because of the strength my family gave me. And in time, I was shown another way – Miss Deaf India. A novice to the world of beauty and fashion, I learnt what was needed and won the title. . . I am blessed with a quality – if I put my mind to something then I don’t measure efforts or time, I give it my all. Whether it’s dancing, basketball, swimming, tennis or yoga, I never slack in my efforts. Maybe as a disabled child I learnt to overcompensate by my hard work to overcome my ability to listen properly. . . . By the grace of the universe, after the Miss Deaf India contest, we crossed paths with Wheeling Happiness, an NGO who empowers disabled people. . . . Thank you for each and every person who contributed in this victory. The crown is ours. 👑 . . Stylist: @ganeshvyas #blog #fromtheheart #missdeafworld2019 #southafrica #winner #wheelinghappiness #disabled #hearingimpaired #positivevibes

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In the talent round, she performed Tandav and shared pictures of her routine, adding that even though she could not hear the rhythm or the sounds, she had always loved dancing.

Performing tandav, which is a vigorous dance form by Hindu God Lord Shiva. Since my young age I’ve loved dancing though I couldn’t hear the rhythm, melody or sounds clearly. To dance, one needs fire in their heart and soul, and music in their spirit.

This is just the beginning for Vidisha. Quoting Robert Frost, she said, ‘Miles to go before I sleep.’

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A picture can never capture what’s going inside the person’s mind and hearts. Here I am ready for the National Round in the Miss Deaf World Contest, feeling roller coaster of emotions inside me. Excited, nervous, happy, scared, confident and so much more. But when I walked on stage I forgot everything. I only performed with all my heart. I think that’s how we must live life – doing our best and block all the unnecessary noise out. Outfit and Jewellery: @sabyasachiofficial @wheelinghappiness Stylist: @ganeshvyas Makeup: @keshira.mansen Hair: @lorn_vts Styling: @sandiiahluwalia4 . . #confident #emotions #happy #scared #mixedemotions #indian #winner #missdeafworld #vidishabaliyan #sabyasachi #indiandesigner #couture #jewellery #fashion #ootd #look #makeup #hair #photography #styling #ganeshvyas

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Miss & Mister Deaf World is a non-profit organization, created in 2001. In 2018, Assia Uhanany from Israel bagged the title of Miss Deaf World.