Manushi Chhillar, 20, from India was crowned with the coveted “Miss World 2017” title at a glittering pageant, ending 16 years of drought for India at the international pageant. “The feeling is still sinking in and I am very excited to make India proud too. I’m also looking forward to the year ahead,” Manushi said in a statement after the win. Following her win, Chhillar tweeted, “Thank you, everyone, for your constant love, support. This one’s for India.”
It is estimated 126 women from all around the globe took part in the pageant which occurred in the Sanya, China. But only one lucky lady could walk away with the crown, which eventually went to a 20-year-old medical student from Haryana, India. Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was announced the first runner up, while Miss England Stephanie Hill was declared the second runner up at the event, held at Sanya City Area in China last Saturday, .
Apart from the main title, Manushi also won the “Beauty with Purpose” award. A medical student, Manushi, is the sixth Indian winner of the prestigious competition, following in the footsteps of Bollywood actresses Priyanka Chopra and Aishwarya Rai. Her win means that India is now level with Venezuela as they both hold six victories over the course of the pageant’s 67 years.
Manushi was born to doctor parents in the northern Indian state of Haryana, which once ranked the worst among all states in sex ratio in India. “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.
Manushi studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat, Haryana. According to her profile on the Miss World website, the winner of the Miss World title aims to be a cardiac surgeon and has plans of opening non-profit hospitals in rural areas. A trained classical dancer, Manushi has a passion for outdoor sports like scuba diving, snorkelling and bungee jumping. Manushi enjoys painting hopes to open a chain of non-profit hospitals in rural areas, according to the Miss World website.
“My final answer also came to me by having them here with me in front of me,” said Manushi, whose family members, including a brother and a sister, were present at the gala. In the question-and-answer round after she was shortlisted among the top five, Manushi was asked: “Which profession deserves the highest salary and why?” She said a mother deserves it most.
Manushi was ecstatic and emotional when she was announced the winner from among contestants from 108 countries. She was crowned by Miss World 2016 winner, Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle.
Priyanka Chopra, the previous winner of the title from India, was joyous about having a “successor”. “And we have a successor! Congratulations Manushi Chhillar on becoming Miss World 2017. Cherish and learn, and most importantly enjoy it. Bravo,” she tweeted.
Former Miss World Sushmita Sen wrote: “India wins Miss World 2017! Congratulations Manushi Chhillar. Yipeeeee, about time! Super proud! Jai Hind.” Neha Dhupia, a former beauty queen and who mentored India’s Miss India pageant contestants this year, tweeted: “Congratulations Manushi Chhillar. We knew you had all the qualities to conquer the world ever since we met you for the first time! You go girl!”
Manushi did her schooling in the national capital Delhi and became a student of medicine in Sonepat. In an interview during her grooming, she said: “The only thing I believe is certain in life is uncertainty, and this is what is amazing about the pageant.” She was always confident about winning the crown. The first Miss World crown was won for India by Reita Faria in 1943, followed which Aishwarya Rai (1994), Diana Hayden (1997), Yukta Mookhey (1999) and Priyanka Chopra (2000).
The competition returned to Sanya, on China’s Hainan Island for the seventh time, where the event was last held in 2015.