Harnaaz Sandhu speaks about her Miss India to Miss Universe journey. Exclusive! – Times of India

Harnaaz Sandhu speaks about her Miss India to Miss Universe journey. Exclusive! – Times of India


She made India proud by bringing home the Miss Universe crown after 21 years. Harnaaz Sandhu, the 21-year-old diva from Chandigarh, is now basking in the glory of her success. In an exclusive interaction with ETimes, The Times of India, Harnaaz talks about her journey from Miss India to Miss Universe and her future plans. Read on.

Did you ever imagine that you will come this far?

If you have a vision in your life then everything is possible. I always made sure that no matter what kind of circumstance I am in, I will achieve my goal. So, when I entered Miss Diva, I made sure that if I get crowned, if I am representing my country- India, I will ensure that I will come back with the crown. I had never imagined I will come into pageants, because all this happened accidentally in my life, when I was just 17-years-old. But I got inspiration from Lara Dutta, Sushmita Sen, and Priyanka Chopra. Through them, I realised that I want to inspire people the way they have been doing.

One of the strengths our previous winners including Sushmita (Sen), Lara (Dutta) and Priyanka (Chopra) had was that they had the gift of gab. Do you think that was your major strength as well, or was it something else that worked for you?

For me, it is just the way you perceive things around you, the way you handle situations. I have always looked up to what’s next, rather than looking behind and focusing on what would have happened. I am blessed that I have a great family, I have been surrounded by great people, and having such a great team like Miss Diva Organization, which always made me feel encouraged and I wanted to give my best shot at Miss Universe.

Your mum mentioned that you are craving to have makke di roti and sarso da saag (maize flour chappati and
cooked mustard green leaves), did you end up having it finally?

I am looking forward to my official homecoming, when I will go to Chandigarh. And I am going to have so many
makke di rotis. That is also healthy and my mom makes it the best. She really means it when she said this and mom, I am coming to have it very soon.

You have an entire reign of one year as Miss Universe. What are your plans?

My advocacy is regarding women empowerment and for this, For this, I have been focusing on my community because I have seen how my mother has dealt with a patriarchal system. I would like to talk about women empowerment all around the world, beginning with menstrual hygiene because it all starts from within. When you have a healthy body and mind that’s when you can follow your purpose and passion. We need to take action now, then only can we look forward to the future.

What according to you are the three changes you would want to bring for the women in India?

I think we need to educate everyone about menstrual hygiene. Another thing that I have been vigorously focusing on is our constitutional rights – right to education, right to work and to choose your partner. You need to be your own voice, you have the power to change your life. Thirdly, is to make women realise their emotional power and the fact that we always have each other’s back.

Exclusive: Harnaaz Sandhu on winning Miss Universe, working with Shah Rukh Khan and more

What according to you has been the importance of education, not just in your life but in general.

Education for me is all about being practical. It is about how do you calculate your life, the situation. Our country has a great education policy and system. I would like to focus on more practical things if given a chance. I have been an average student in my school life, I came first but not always. It is not about writing the best answers, it’s about speaking the best answers.

Importance of physical beauty for you on a scale of one to ten.

It is as equal as internal beauty. There has to be a balance. Everyone is unique and God has made everyone beautiful. If I compare myself to anyone it is not justified.

Is there any particular director or co-actor you would like to debut with?

Given a chance, I would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir. I share a lot of respect and love for Shah Rukh Khan. He has always inspired me because he has remained grounded and I would like to work with him too.

You have an amazing talent for mimicking. Can you mimic someone for us?

I would still wait to do this. I would better do someone’s biopic. And for that, you need to wait.

Anything in particular that you feel, India as a country should change?

Change is constant. I would like to work on every possible aspect. I would like to change how we execute policies in our country. We need to understand our constitution more.


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