First Miss India – Miss India 1947, Pramila

Pramila-first-miss-india Miss India beauty contest started on 1947. The most beautiful and smart girls are being selected every year since then.

Miss India 1947, the first Miss India was Pramila. She was born a Jewish, Esther Victoria Abraham in Kerla, was elected through a special press vote. Her daughter, Naqi Jahan, also became a beauty queen in 1967.

Pramila left her home at 17 years to join a theatre company. She has worked as a vamp and a fearless stunt star in 30 films, including Ulti Ganga, Bijli, Basant and Jungle King. Pramila starred and worked behind-the-scenes in Ardeshir Irani’s Mother India that became the first Indian film to be screened at Buckingham Palace. Pramila also became the first major woman film producer, with 16 films under her Silver Productions banner. She wasn’t the first person to plunge into movie industry. Her sister Romila and cousin Rose had already worked in Bollywood movies before Pramila got her big break.

As a teenager, she married Marwari theatre director Manicklal Dangi. The marriage didn’t go along for long and she married actor Kumar (actor of Mughal-e-Azam and Shri 420). She was left alone when Kumar migrated to Pakistan in 1963 and she settled down with Parsi filmmaker Nari Gadhali for more than four decades.

pramila - first Miss India

Pramila in a still from Bade Nawab Saab by Silver Film, Pramila’s home production.

First Miss India, pramila with amol palekar

90 year-old Pramila with Amol Plekar (2006 photo). Amol Palekar wanted her to act in his Marathi film, Thang,


Pramila as a pilot in a 1939 movie Bijli.

Daughter Naqi Ali, son Haider Ali, Pramila, son Asgar Ali and eldest son Maurice Abraham

Family Photo – Pramila with her sons and daughter (left to right) – Naqi Ali (Nandini Kamdar), Haidar Ali, Pramila, Asgar Ali and Maurice Abraham.

pramila from jungle king-1958

Pramila in a 1958 movie Jungle King.

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One Response to First Miss India – Miss India 1947, Pramila

  1. Jennifer Lawrence says:

    Esther Victoria Abraham was my great aunt. I am looking to make connections with her children. My mother died the same day as Auntie Esther only two years later. My siblings and I know the children and they know about us. We were brought up in Canada. Any help you can give me would be wonderful.
    Jennifer Lawrence

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