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There's often more to your favorite celebrities than meets the eye — in addition to the fame and glamour that is an integral part of their career, they often give back. Handsome, charming and well-informed model, actor and Mr. India '17 Darasing Khurana is Brand Ambassador for DATRI, model and actor. Also, proud recipient of Wow Starlite Excellence Award for his hands-on humanitarian work. Over to him.


''I hail from ‘Parbhani', Maharashtra. I started performing at an early age and enjoyed acting, giving speeches and compering school annual days. And then I won local contest 'Mr. Parbhani' at sixteen, following which I moved to Pune, to pursue higher studies. But, the heart wants what it wants. My interest in acting and modelling had taken a backseat, and post MBA, I worked as fashion consultant in Bollywood. That's where I got exposed to the industry and pursued my passion. I had the option of family business or corporate job but I chose to follow my heart, since I'd rather do it and regret it, than live with regrets.


With the grace of God, I've been doing good work. My parents are supportive of my career though it was inculcated in me to complete my education and have a back up plan before taking a plunge into modeling and acting. I've done short films and fashion weeks. But winning Mr. India changed my life. This title was a dream I saw as a small town boy. When it happened, it came as a blessing which will stay with me for life. It’s a respect I have earned with my values and beliefs. That said, it took me a while to digest I would be representing India at the International pageant. It has been such a privilege, a humbling as well as an honoured position. The process gave me so much confidence. My skills were polished and it helped add facets to my personality, be it physical strength, communication skills, social skills, table etiquette, ramp walk or public speaking. That time taught me a lot. While we hope things happen the way we imagine, the reality is usually different. According to my plan, I  should have been ready with my bags packed four days before flying out. But the universe wanted to test me. I had food poisoning a fortnight before travel. My diet went for a toss and my stylist who flew in from Delhi four days before the flight didn't carry any of the outfits I had tried and approved. This was a shock, as the outfits he brought weren't impressive. I was devastated. In three days, I managed to arrange clothes for twenty-five looks, and as a result, I was travelling with 100-kg extra luggage which the airline refused to carry. These were just some hurdles I had to overcome before leaving for Myanmar but once I reached, I was at peace. I made friends with most of the contestants; my roommates loved me and were impressed with my preparation too! One of the challenges there was food. I am used to mostly vegetarian, but some meals there had chicken feet and ostrich!! So I didn't know what to eat. Those memories are now a part of me…


The three things I accomplished and championed during my reign, was becoming the brand ambassador of Datri — we registered 4,20,000 voluntary blood stem cell donors and facilitated six hundred transplants. Secondly, I became Goodwill Ambassador of Kunwar's Global School to promote education in Uttar Pradesh. Also, I felt great that I could accomplish the dream of taking my mother for a surprise overseas trip. I achieved that recently when I travelled with her to Europe. That said, I do have something I would like to share here. Winning the title is a feeling of immense pride and at the same time it's a responsibility. In fact the most common misconception is that pageant winners make promises but get caught up in the vortex of fame and glamour. It takes great effort to remain grounded after a person gets a whiff of fame but all of that is short lived; one must use this recognition to motivate people, to lend their support to causes which need attention. I chose to make people aware of blood stem cell donations. When I wanted to associate with a social cause, I met my mentor Prof. Seema Mahajan, Director, NMIMS and we penned down causes like depression, education and cancer. Reading more about it, blood stem cell donation caught our eye and we decided I should associate with it. My primary role is to travel and explain to people that each one of us have potential to save a life without spending a penny. There is no hard work one has to undertake… all you need is the willingness to help! I encourage people to register with us and be potential lifesavers. If each one of us devotes a little time for a cause, how happy and healthy our society can be! It is a beautiful journey — the smiles, the way people endear themselves to you. No amount of worldly pleasures can give one the satisfaction that just one genuine smile can!At the end of the day,these are not causes; these are the needs of humanity!! Among crores of people in our country, there are thousands afflicted with rare diseases or are in dire need of not only financial help,but human support,someone just holding their hand and saying "Don't worry, I'm there with you'. That in itself is a huge support to any human being who is helpless.


Other than Datri, my hands are full with modelling assignments. I am also a fashion consultant for celebrities. And I want to explore acting so I am working on honing the craft. It is something I am very passionate about. I am going to wrap this up with a message to everyone on this platform — you must pursue your dream and work towards it. Always give back to society in any way you can because humanity is the biggest religion. Believe in good deeds, never be jealous of others and stay in good company. Cheers!''

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