Harnaaz Sandhu, who represented India has been crowned Miss Universe 2021, held in Eilat, Israel. The 21-year-old who hails from Punjab claimed the title after edging out on Nadia Ferreira from Paraguay and Lalela Mswane from South Africa. Andrea Meza from Mexico,former Miss Universe 2020 presented the crown to Ms Sandhu. The Chandigarh-based model becomes the 3rd ever Indian to win the title only after actress Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000. Sandhu began her journey in pageantry at the age of 17 and has previously been in Top 12 at the Femina Miss India 2019, crowned Miss Chandigarh in 2017, Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018, Femina Miss India Punjab 2019 and Miss Diva 2021. She has also starred in Punjabi movies like ‘Yaara Diya Poo Baran’ and ‘Bai Ji Kuttange’. She completed her schooling from Shivalik Public School and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in public administration from the Post Graduate Government College for girls in Chandigarh.
When asked on what advice she would give to the young women on dealing with the pressures they face,a calm Sandhu answered “The biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves, to know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others and let’s talk about more important things that’s happening worldwide. This is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourselves because you are the leader of your life, you are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that’s why I am standing here today,” “I am immensely grateful to the Almighty, my parents, and the Miss India Organization for guiding and supporting me throughout. Loads of love to everyone who prayed and wished the crown for me,” Ms. Sandhu said.