New Delhi, December 14
As the new Miss Universe 2021, Harnaaz Sandhu from Punjab says she wants to create an environment where other women feel comfortable voicing their concerns about health and hygiene.
The 21-year-old, who has already starred in a few Punjabi films including “Yaara Diyan Poo Baran” and “Bai Ji Kuttange”, both released in 2021, is also eager to carve out a niche for herself not only in Hindi cinema. , but also Hollywood.
On Monday, Sandhu became the third Indian woman to be crowned Miss Universe – actors Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta won the title in 1994 and 2000, respectively.
It is a big celebration for the whole country because an Indian is fortunate enough to wear this crown after 21 years, said Harnaaz Sandhu.
“I feel so grateful and my heart is filled with so much respect for everyone who has shown their faith in me and showered me with all their love. I want to use this platform to talk about the issues that should all of us. worry. ”, the contest winner told PTI in a telephone interview from Eilat, Israel, where the 70th edition of the event was held.
The next stop for Sandhu is New York City, her home for now from where she will perform her duties as a spokesperson for various causes alongside the Miss Universe organization.
Her mother and gynecologist Ravinder Kaur Sandhu was an inspiration to Sandhu, who wants to pave the way for the empowerment of women with a special focus on menstrual hygiene and breast cancer awareness.
“My advocacy is about empowering women with menstrual hygiene, my mother being a gynecologist. Women should talk about their health. In my community, women still feel uncomfortable talking about their bodies and their health. anything related to their health.
“This is what I have mainly worked on with different organizations regarding breast cancer surgery and the fact that it is curable when detected in time. I will also talk about all the issues that the Miss organization is facing. Universe is linked. I would like to talk about the causes with the help of my mother, “she added.
Sandhu, who is pursuing his Masters in Public Administration and started modeling at the age of 17, also spoke about how beauty pageants try to keep up with the times.
She started her journey on the ramp early, winning the Times Fresh Face in 2017, representing Chandigarh at the age of 17. She went on to win the LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 title.
Events like Miss Universe are changing, she said, adding that they are helping people embrace “the true meaning of beauty.”
“After my victory, in my community, people realize that it’s not just about being beautiful, it’s about having that personality, that aura and having the depth in the voice to express what you believe in … you are the leader of your own life .. i think i already broke stereotypes about what women are and can be and now i want to move that forward at large. ”
Sandhu emerged victorious from competitors from 79 countries to bring the title back to India after more than two decades. She was crowned by her predecessor Andrea Meza of Mexico, who won the competition in 2020.
Her Paraguayan counterpart Nadia Ferreira, 22, finished second, South African Lalela Mswane, 24, third.
For Sandhu, all of his co-competitors are winners because they have represented the people of their country on the world stage with “enough confidence in your opinion”.
“… to have this idea in your voice that this is the difference you want to make in your life … it is more than enough to conquer everything in this world. You can share your culture, your country, your track record with each candidate This is a huge achievement in and of itself. I’m going to take a lot out of my co-contestants because I believe we’re all winners. Every girl is a Miss Universe, “she added .
As Sandhu looks forward to returning to India and celebrating this victory with the people, his travel plans are in the works.
She wants to eat her favorite “makki di roti, sarson da saag” first, she shared.
But her victory will remain somewhat incomplete until she gives her mother the “tightest hug” as she would now go home realizing that dream they had dreamed of together.
“Months ago we were watching the Miss Universe 2020 edition and I was like, ‘Look how the girls walk’. Who knew I would be on this stage someday to represent my country!” Sandhu remembers.
His victory will also spark new interest in his films.
“They are very happy to have me in their films and I can’t wait to show my talent on the big screen,” she said.
Like the former beauty queen, Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sandhu also aims to further bridge the distance between Indian and international cinema.
“I would love to be a part of not only Bollywood but also Hollywood, through that I would like to break stereotypes. I think people in the 21st century are inspired by movies and web series, so I would like to inspire people and try to talk about the issues that should be eradicated from society. ” PTI