Sanya (China): Seventeen years ago, in the year 2000, Priyanka Chopra was crowned Miss World along with Lara Dutta and Dia Mirza bagging the other two honours — Miss Universe and Miss Asia Pacific — respectively, in the same year. Now, it is Manushi Chhillar who has been named Miss World 2017 at the international pageant.
Haryana girl Manushi Chhillar was earlier crowned this year’s Femina Miss India World 2017, which got her the ticket to the global competition.
Her winning shot at the competition came with her heartfelt response to the question posed by the judges — which profession in the world deserves the highest salary and why. Manushi replied: “My mother has been my biggest inspiration, so I have to say, a mother’s job. It is not always about cash, but love and respect as well. A mother deserves that the most.”
The 21-year-old medical student, who sacrificed one whole year of her education to participate in the Miss India competition, said she grew up idolising Reita Faria, the first Indian and Asian to win the Miss World crown in 1966.
Chhillar, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.
At Miss Wold 2017, Chhillar was named one of the five winners of the Beauty with a Purpose award at Miss World 2017 on 18 November in Sanya City Arena, China. The other winners of the title are contestants from South Africa, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines.
Ahead of the competition, she told PTI, “Though I was a medical student, I never had a plan B. I don’t want to regret anything in life, so it was really important for me to win this competition. My aim has always been to win the Miss World title.”
Former pageant winners like Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra have carved a career in Bollywood post their wins. When asked if she had similar plans and considered the Miss India title as the stepping stone to Bollywood, Chhillar said, “I disagree with the notion. I feel that Miss India is a stepping stone for anything you want to do, not just Bollywood.”
Chhillar was inching closer to the Miss World crown as she had gone straight from top 40 to 15, during the course of the competition.
As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world are participating in the prestigious beauty pageant.
Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle passed on the coveted crown to Chhillar amid thundering applause and celebrations. Miss Mexico was the first runner up while Miss England was declared the second runner up.
(With inputs from agencies)