Miss India Manushi Chhilar smiles as she wins the 67th Miss World contest final in Sanya. (AFP photo)
It was a proud moment for India as Manushi Chhillar was crowned Miss World 2017 among 118 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena in Sanya, China, on Saturday. Andrea Meza, Miss Mexico, was crowned first runner-up and Stephanie Hill, Miss England, second runner-up.
Manushi, a medical student from Haryana who dreams of being a cardiac surgeon and who took a one-year break from studies to focus on representing India at the international pageant, is the sixth Indian to be crowned Miss World . She will bring the crown back to India after 17 years; the last Indian to bag it was Priyanka Chopra (2000).
Soon after being crowned, she told TOI, "The feeling is still sinking in... I'm very excited to make India proud. I'm also looking forward to the year ahead. My parents have always been my pillar of support and having them here tonight by my side has only brought me more strength and joy." The gorgeous Manushi also won the 'Head to Head' challenge and the 'Beauty With A Purpose' segment.
Her family members, who were in the audience, couldn't hold back their excitement. "My final answer also came to me by having them here with me in front of me," Manushi told TOI. At the time of participating in the fbb Colors Femina Miss Indiacontest, Manushi had said her father is a practising physician and mother a neurochemist.
The 20-year-old's journey began in June this year when she was crowned fbb Colors Femina Miss India World 2017. Her motto in life is "When you cease to dream you cease to live," and she believes her education has given her the confidence to stand on stage and helped enhance her skills. In an interview just before leaving for the Miss World pageant, she said, "When you are studying medicine, you are learning how to deal with people and you understand why they act the way they do."
For her 'Beauty with a Purpose' project, she spread awareness about menstrual hygiene, visiting 20 villages and touching the lives of 5,000 women. "If an organisation like Miss World backs this, it could reach a different level altogether," she had said.
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