India’s Harnaaz Sandhu crowned Miss Universe 2021
The 21-year-old from Punjab, representing India at the 70th Miss Universe 2021, held in Eilat, Israel, brought home the crown, 21 years after Lara Dutta won the title in 2000.
She edged out contestants Paraguay and South Africa to claim the crown.
Sandhu was presented the crown by Andrea Meza, former Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico at the event which was live-streamed globally.
The first and the second runners-up were Paraguay and South Africa respectively. As part of the top three round, the contestants were asked, “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today”.
To this, Harnaaz said, “The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing, is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that is why I am standing here today.”
The model-actress was crowned Miss Universe India 2021 in October. Harnaaz started her beauty pageant journey with Times Fresh Face back in 2017. The 21-year-old diva is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Public Administration. She holds multiple pageant titles like Femina Miss India Punjab 2019, as well. She has also starred in many Punjabi films.