KEY POINTS

  • Miss Universe is an advocate for women's empowerment and sustainability
  • Harnaaz Sandhu is also a model and actress
  • She has a degree in IT and is currently taking up her Master’s degree

Miss India has been officially named Miss Universe 2021. On Sunday, Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu won the title in Eilat, Israel after beating 79 other contestants from different countries around the world.

Sandhu also left behind first runner-up Miss Paraguay Nadia Ferreira and second runner-up Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane to get the title.

After making it to the Top 5, Sandhu was asked during the Question and Answer round: “Many people think climate change is a hoax. What would you do to convince them otherwise?”

“Honestly, my heart breaks to see how nature is going through a lot of problems and to all irresponsible behavior. And I totally feel that this is the time to take action and talk less because each action could either kill or save nature. Prevent and protect is better than repent and repair and this is what I’m trying to convince you guys today,” she answered.

At the Top 3 Question and Answer, Miss India, Miss Paraguay and Miss South Africa were asked the same question: “What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?”

“Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth is facing today is to believe in themselves. Let’s stop comparing yourselves to others and let’s talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think this is the thing you need to do for yourself—come out, because you are the hero of your own. You have a life of your own. I believed in myself and that’s why I’m standing here today,” Sandhu said.

Sandhu took her first walk as the new Miss Universe after being presented the prestigious crown by Miss Universe 2020 Andrea Meza.

The 21-year-old Miss Universe is a public administrator and an advocate for women’s empowerment, sustainability and limiting one’s carbon footprint. She also enjoys yoga, cooking, dancing, and playing chess and works as a model and actress when not working on meaningful causes.

Sandhu completed a degree in Information Technology and is currently taking up her Master’s degree. Before joining Miss Universe, she had finished shooting for two Punjabi films, “Yaara Diyan Poo Baran” and “Bai Ji Kuttange,” both of which are slated for 2022 release.

Miss Universe contestants appear during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021 Miss Universe contestants appear during the preliminary stage of the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on December 10, 2021 Photo: AFP / Menahem KAHANA