A Century City woman has taken the crown at this year’s Mrs India South Africa pageant.
Dr Saumya Gautum, 31, spoke to Tabletalk earlier this year as she prepared for the pageant, which was held in Durban on Saturday August 25 (“Saumya to sparkle at Mrs India South Africa pageant, Tabletalk, March 28).
Born to a gynaecologist mother and a cardiologist father, Dr Gautum said she had always wanted to help others and becoming a doctor, like her parents, was the perfect platform for her.
Since our last interview with Dr Gautum, she has been involved with several organisations, including the Smile Foundation, the SPCA and the Ukhozi Girls Organisation.
Dr Ashok Kumar Tiwari, Saumya’s dad, said his daughter had wanted to help people from a young age.
“She would come to the hospital where I work and interact with my patients and spend time with them often trying to make them smile,” he said.
Her mom, Dr Vasudha Tiwari, said: “As an Indian-born South African, she gets a lot of support from both countries, and this now has become bigger than just the competition itself. There is a lot more she is yet to achieve, I foresee.”
Dr Gautum was one of 24 contestants and is the first Capetonian to win the competition, which is now in its 11th year.
“I feel honoured and blessed to first of all win the pageant
and, secondly, now that I get
the opportunity to affect more change in the world. I now have a bigger platform and I hope to reel in bigger organisations and get them involved in helping the less fortunate. I know I might not change the world, but I can try and I have to start somewhere,” she said.
Dr Gautum won R500 000 worth of prizes, including a new VW Jetta. In three weeks time, the pageant will be shown on OpenView HD and Starsat TV.