Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening congratulated Harnaaz Sandhu for winning Miss Universe 2021.
"Congratulations to Harnaaz Sandhu on being crowned Miss Universe. Best wishes to her for her future endeavours," he tweeted.
Chandigarh's Harnaaz Sandhu won the Miss Universe 2021 pageant, beating contestants from 79 countries to bring the title back to India after 21 years.
Only two Indians before Sandhu, just 21 and an actor as well as a model, have been crowned Miss Universe earlier -- actors Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.
The win, being seen as a fillip for the beauty pageant industry, led to celebrations at her home and congratulatory messages from all quarters, including from politicians, showbiz celebs and the two former title holders.
The 70th edition of the event was held in Israel's resort town of Eilat. Sandhu will move to New York City where she will live during her 'reign' and become a spokesperson for various causes alongside the Miss Universe Organisation.
During the final question and answer round, Sandhu was asked what advice she would give young women on how to deal with the pressure they face today.
"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," she said to thundering applause.
Sandhu, who is pursuing her master's degree in public administration and started modelling when she was 17, was crowned by her predecessor Andrea Meza of Mexico, who won the pageant in 2020.
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