Months of hard work and perseverance paid off for Lucknow boy Jitesh Singh Deo when he bagged the title of Peter England Mr India 2017 at a dazzling ceremony in Mumbai on Thursday.
The 22-year-old model who completed his education from Indraprastha College, New Delhi defeated 15 other contestants in the final round to win the coveted title.
Prathamesh Maulingkar bagged the title of Mr India Supranational 2017 while Abhi Khajuria and Pavan Rao's were announced as the 1st and 2nd runners-up respectively.
Speaking to this correspondent, the strapping winner says that the feeling is just amazing. Deo goes on to say being considered the best in India is nothing short of ‘spectacular.’
“I felt like I am the one! All the hard work I put in for the last two years have finally paid off.”
Incidentally, this is not Deo’s first stint with the platform. He was a participant two years back as well, but failed to make it to the top.
Elucidating on his experience, the winner who loves to travel and swim says, “I was not really prepared for it back then. I was confident but the experience humbled me. It taught me a lot and I realised how much I needed to work on myself to excel on this platform.”
He goes on to add that he worked on himself for two years for this moment.
“By god’s grace I am here now!” he says, adding, “From being a boy to a man and then a gentleman that is what the journey taught me. And that is what it takes to be Mr India.”
Speaking about the moment his name was called out as the winner, Deo candidly admits that it took him a few moments to realise that he had actually won.
“I was stunned for a few seconds and then I realised that this is me! This is my moment. I have made it,” he adds.
However, Deo realises that this is just the beginning. Mr India 2017 says that with Rohit Khandelwal bringing the title home in 2016, the entire process has become tougher. The aspiring actor goes on to add that he releases for him to excel in the international platform he first needs to work upon his failings and improve on his shortcomings.
The Lucknow lad further adds that if he had not been able to make a mark in Mr India he would probably have joined acting classes to fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. The ardent Shah Rukh Khan fan who believes that there are very few actors as seamless as King Khan, wants to develop his acting skills to be on par with that of the Badshaah of Bollywood. His other role models are stylist and fashion blogger Mariano Di Vaio and actor Nawazuddin Siddique.
Deo realises that Mr India is not only about a great body and killer-looks. The young winner feels that there are social causes which can be given a push with his newfound fame and says that stopping child labour, giving a better life to the elderly and motivating youngsters are three causes he finds close to his heart.
“Children are the future of the country,” he says, adding, “They should be educated, not made to work. There are lots of able bodied men and women who can work and children do not necessarily need to be pushed in that direction. They need to be properly guided and educated so that they can perhaps in the future they can be Mr and Miss India.”
Deo also wants to motivate the youth, guiding and telling them the right way to go about in life and help them realise their dreams.
Ask about his plans he says, “I want to instill in them the power of belief. If one believes in something they can achieve it.”
He explains, “The power of the will and self belief is what made me win as well.
If you are demotivated, then you are the only one who can pull yourself back. I myself am an example of the power of positivity and self belief.”
As for the new youth icon’s mantra towards a good health and great body, he guffaws he is the last person to be commenting on that.
“I am a guy who lives on carbs -- pizzas burgers, fried chicken, you name it and I eat it! I do not even work out regularly. For everyday at the gym, I laze around for four days.”
However, for youngsters who want to follow down the same path, he quickly adds, “Eat healthy food and a lot of green vegetables. Clean your body from the inside out for a lot of junk food is not good. Eat calories but burn it as well. In fact he cheekily adds that his New Year resolution is to eat and run, apart from regular workouts.
When asked about Deo’s love life, the goal-oriented title winner says, “I can’t focus on anything but Mr World right now. I would rather keep love at bay for a while. However, when I am satisfied with where I have reached, I will definitely give it a thought.”
As for his goals, he concludes, “This is just the first step. I do not count it as a success. I have miles to go still.”...