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India’s Harnaaz Sandhu becomes Miss Universe 2021

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu has been crowned the 70th Miss Universe, beating contestants from 80 countries in the pageant.

The previously reigning Miss Universe, Andrea Meza of Mexico, crowned the Bollywood actor in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

Sandhu has bagged the coveted pageant for India 21 years after the country last brought the title home.

The 21-year-old Chandigarh-based model is pursuing her master’s degree in public administration.

In her message, Sandhu urged the young women to stop comparing themselves and be the leader of their lives. She said, ‘I believed in myself and that is why I am standing here today.’

The contest was hosted by US TV personality Steve Harvey and saw performances by American singer JoJo.

Paraguay’s Nadia Ferreira, 22, finished second. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Lalela Mswane, 24, came third.