Harnaaz Sandhu has made India proud by bringing home the Miss Universe 2021 crown.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who congratulated the pageant winner: "Congratulations to Harnaaz Sandhu on being crowned Miss Universe. Best wishes to her for her future endeavours."
The 21-year-old from Chandigarh won the international beauty pageant held in Eilat, Israel, by edging out Paraguay's Nadia Ferreira and South Africa's Lalela Mswane. The actor-model brought home the crown, two decades after Lara Dutta won the title in 2000.
Harnaaz has received her education from Chandigarh. She attended Shivalik Public School and the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, both in Chandigarh.
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Harnaaz stepped into the glamourous industry at a young age and bagged numerous pageant titles including Times Fresh Face Miss Chandigarh 2017, Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018, Femina Miss India Punjab 2019 and LIVA Miss Diva Universe 2021.
She will also star in upcoming Punjabi films 'Yaara Diyan Poo Baran' and 'Bai Ji Kuttange', which are slated to release in 2022.
The newly crowned Miss Universe is very close to her family. As per her Miss Universe delegate profile, Harnaaz draws her inspiration from her mother Ruby Sandhu, who is a gynaecologist by profession.
Before the finale, Harnaaz took to her Instagram story and posted a screenshot of a video call with members of her family, saying she was already a winner having them in her life.
She posted: "Faith is unseen. It's felt. It's the feeling I have in my heart today. I have faith in God, my family and the blessings you all have showered on me. I have enjoyed my journey and as we near the end of this beautiful pageant, I want to re live memories with my family, my Punjab. I want you all to know, that Im grateful for each and every one of you and for all the experiences I had in these 1.5 months," she wrote on Instagram.
Alongside the note, she posted a video of her offering prayers at the Golden Temple.
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"I'm already a winner. I have you all. See you at the Miss Universe 2021 Finale," Harnaaz concluded.
Her Miss Universe delegate profile also stated that her favourite actor is Priyanka Chopra. Further, her interests include "enjoying the company of friends, loves yoga, dancing, cooking, horse riding, and playing chess."
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.