Eilat: India's Harnaaz Sandhu has made the entire country proud by bringing home the crown at the 70th Miss Universe 2021, held in Eilat, Israel.
Mexico's Andrea Meza, the reigning queen, passed on her crown to the new successor.
After being crowned, Harnaaz could be seen celebrating on the stage with her fellow contestants.
Expressing pride in the country's win, Harnaaz said, "Chak de phatte India, chak de phatte."
Harnaaz edged out the first runner up Paraguay and the second runner up South Africa.
As part of the final question round, the top three contestants were asked, "What advice would you give to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?"
To this, Harnaaz, delivering her final statement, said, "Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth of today is facing is to believe in themselves. To know that you are unique and that's what makes you beautiful. Stop comparing yourselves with others and let's talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think this is what you need to understand. Come out, speak for yourself, because you are the leader of your life. You are the voice of your own. I believed in myself and that's why I am standing here today. Thank you."
“I am immensely grateful to the Almighty, my parents, and the Miss India Organization for guiding and supporting me throughout. Loads of love to everyone who prayed and wished the crown for me," Sandhu said.
"Bringing the glorious crown back after 21 years to India is a moment of greatest pride," she said.
India had earlier won the coveted crown twice with Sushmita Sen bagging the title in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000. Harnaaz has now joined the league of these incredible women.
The 21-year-old Chandigarh-based model has previously bagged numerous pageant titles including LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021 and Femina Miss India Punjab 2019.
She has also starred in Punjabi films like 'Yaara Diyan Poo Baran' and 'Bai Ji Kuttange'.