GUWAHATI: The coveted Miss Universe title has finally returned home — after 21 years — as Chandigarh-born Harnaaz Sandhu was declared the winner of the 70th edition of the pageant on Sunday night in Eliat, Israel.
Actor Lara Dutta had last won the title in 2000.
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Sandhu was presented the crown by Andrea Meza, the previous titleholder from Mexico. She left behind the contestants Paraguay and South Africa, who came in first and second runners-up respectively, to win the crown.
As part of the competition, she was asked, “Many people think climate change is a hoax, what would you do to convince them otherwise?”
She replied, “My heart breaks to see how nature is going through a lot of problems, and it is all due to our irresponsible behaviour. I totally feel that this is the time to take action and talk less. Because our each action could save or kill nature. Prevent and protect is better than repent and repair and this is what I am trying to convince you guys today”.
Her reply was, “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,” she said, which impressed everyone.
Notably, the model-actress was crowned Miss Universe India 2021 in October. Having starred in many Punjabi films at 21, she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration.