Twenty-one-year-old Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu 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. Andrea Meza, former Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico, presented the crown to Sandhu 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.”
Harnaaz replied, “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.”
Harnaaz made it to the top three positions after her politically correct or woke answer, calling for less talk and more action on global warming. In the top five, she was asked “Many people think climate change is a hoax, what would you do to convince them otherwise?”
Harnaaz pleased the pageant judges when she said, “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.”
Model and actress Harnaaz 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.
Harnaaz had back then spoken about her preparation for representing India for the Miss Universe Crown. “I believe I am the only candidate who got the shortest time to prepare, but the team has been putting in a lot of effort to bring the best version out of India. And I am getting a lot of training, be it in terms of communication or putting myself out there confidently. I promise to each one of you that you will enjoy the process – all these efforts will not go in vain.”