Sejal Gupta, a 13-year-old from Chandigarh, recently made headlines for winning the titles of Miss Teen International and Miss Teen India 2023, and there’s no stopping the dynamic and enterprising girl. Though she’s not new to the arc lights having worked with big cine stars like Akhshay Kumar in the film, Mission Mangal, and currently playing the daughter of actress Urmila Matondkar in web series, Tiwari, winning the beauty pageants is one of the few more feathers in her hat. She made her television debut in a TV serial Kya Haal Mr Panchal when she was just eight.
With the now global diva Priyanka Chopra as her role model, Sejal has big dreams and is passionate about inspiring others to break stereotypes and achieving their goals. Growing up in a close-knit joint family in Panchkula with working parents, she feels the peaceful environment of the Tricity provided her with the ideal environment to focus on fitness and other extra-curricular activities. Studying in Class IX, she credits her school, RIMT World School, Manimajra, for being supportive of her dreams.
Trained in western dance, she credits her success to Miss Teen Diva organisation’s national director Nikhil Anand, and her mother who have been the pillar of strength for her. CityWoofer caught up with her to know more:
Can you tell us how you prepared for these pageants?
Winning the titles of Miss Teen International and Miss Teen India 2023 means the world to me. Since the age of 5, I wanted to see myself here. I started participating in local cultural events and ramp walks from a very young age and have worked with brands like Max and Biba. These experiences have played a significant role in strengthening my resolve to pursue my dreams.
In terms of preparation, I had to work on various aspects, including my walk, poise, posture, public speaking skills, and overall confidence. I also had to stay physically fit and maintain a healthy routine. I prefer workouts at home and often trained in the parks in the neighborhood with my father every morning.
What does winning these titles mean to you?
The pageant experience taught me a lot about discipline, determination, and resilience. It taught me that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself. Winning these titles has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams. I want to become a global icon.
Mental health is an important issue, especially for teenagers. What do you have to say?
It’s important to prioritize mental health, especially for teenagers, and I hope to spread awareness about this important issue. There is no shame in seeking help, and it’s a sign of strength to recognize when you need support. We need to start talking more openly about mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding it. We need to create safe spaces where people can share their experiences and seek support without fear of judgment.
What advice would you give to other young people who want to pursue their dreams?
Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t be afraid to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. Failure is a part of the journey, and it’s important to learn from it and keep pushing forward.
What lies in store regarding your future projects?
I have several exciting projects lined up, including the Peshawar series, Kun Faya Kun with Harshwardhan Rane and Sanjeeda Shaikh, Sukhee with Shilpa Shetty Kundra, and Tiwari with Urmila Matondkar.
(Shweta Yadav is an independent writer and researcher, passionate about uncovering untold narratives)