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India's Harnaaz Sandhu wins Miss Universe 2021

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
India's Harnaaz Sandhu wins Miss Universe 2021
Miss India, Harnaaz Sandhu, is crowned Miss Universe during the 70th Miss Universe beauty pageant in Israel's southern Red Sea coastal city of Eilat on Dec. 13, 2021.
AFP / Menahem Kahana

MANILA, Philippines — Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu bested 79 other candidates to emerge as the new Miss Universe 2021. She is now the third Miss Universe titleholder from India.

Sandhu is a public administrator, who also advocates sustainability and limiting one's carbon footprint.

When not working on meaningful causes, the 21-year-old is working as a model and actress. She has just shot for two Punjabi films, "Yaara Diyan Poo Baran" and "Bai Ji Kuttange," both of which are scheduled to release in 2022. She finished Information Technology and is taking up her Master's degree.

At the Top 5 Question and Answer, she was asked: Many people think climate change is a hoax. What would you do to convince them otherwise?"

"Honestly, my heart breaks to see how nature is going through a lot of problems and to all irresponsible behavior. And I totally feel that this is the time to take actions and talk less because each action could either kill or save nature. Prevent and protect is better than repent and repair and this is what I'm trying to convince you guys today," she said.

At the final question and answer, the Top 3 finalists are asked the same question: "What advice would you give dvice to young women watching on how to deal with the pressures they face today?"

Sandhu answered: "Well, I think the biggest pressure the youth is facing today is to believe in themselves."

According to her, the youth need to know that they are unique and loved for these make them stronger. 

"Let's stop comparing yourselves to others and let's talk about more important things that are happening worldwide. I think this the thing you need to do for yourself -- come out, because you are the hero of your own. You have a life of your own. I believed in myself and that's why I'm standing here today."

First runner-up is Miss Universe Paraguay Nadia Ferreira, a business owner.

Second runner-up is Miss Universe South Africa Lalela Lali Mswane, a 24-year-old vocalist and model.

Miss Philippines Beatrice Luigi Gomez settled in the Top 5. 

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere, who was crowned in the Philippines, asked the question for Gomez and even exclaimed, "I love your country!"

RELATED: LIVE updates: Miss Universe 2021

'Everybody seems to be loving Philippines': Beatrice Luigi Gomez enters Top 5 of Miss Universe 2021, full list

MISS UNIVERSE 2021

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