Harnaaz Sandhu of Punjab made India proud by being crowned Miss Universe 2021 at the finals in Israel. As soon as the news broke, Bollywood celebrities took to social media to congratulate her on reclaiming the title after a 21-year absence.
On this occasion, the Bombay Times spoke with Neha Dhupia, Miss India 2002 and one of the top ten finalists in Miss Universe 2002.
I would like to congratulate Harnaaz for making India proud. The platform is so huge that it wins instant recognition for her from across the world. But nothing comes easy! I still remember Angad (Bedi, husband) had judged Miss Diva 2021 (where Harnaaz won the title). He came home and he couldn’t stop praising her. He said that she looked promising from the beginning. He was fully rooting for her and I said we should definitely watch out for that girl. And now, here you go! Not only has it been a dream come true for her or the country, but she has instilled a faith in all these young and aspiring girls from across the country, once again. I am sure her journey will encourage more girls to come forward and put their best foot forward- Neha Dhupia
She further continues,
To be facing a challenge from multiple pageant winners from around the world, who are supremely talented themselves and backed by dozens of experts, is huge pressure. I am glad that she stood strong and brought home the title. She has made the nation proud. It’s a great achievement. I would just like to tell her to do well and make the most of it from here on. Just dream it and go ahead and achieve it!- Neha Dhupia