Last night Miss India, medical student Manushi Chhillar, made history for India as the 6th winner of the Miss World Pageant.  This ties India for most wins with Venezuela.


The first Indian Miss World was Reita Faria, who won the title in 1966, fifteen years after the inception of the pageant.

In addition to becoming the first Indian Miss World, Raita was also the first Asian Miss World.  After winning the competition, Reita went on to focus on her career, becoming a physician rather than continuing modeling.

Following Reita’s win 28 years passed before another Miss India winner; this drought didnt last long, with 4 Miss India winners between 1990 – 2000.  Aishwarya Rai claimed the title in 1994.  Aishwarya competed against and came second to Sushmita Sen in the Miss Femina India in 1994.  Sushmita went on to compete and win the Miss Universe title later on that same year, while Aishwarya competed in the Miss World title.  Winning the crown helped elevate & catalyze Aishwarya’s modeling and acting career.   Today, she is one of the most successful Indian actresses of all time.

Just three years after Aishwarya Rai took home the title, Diana Hayden, an event planner and model, competed to win in 1997.

In 1999, Yukta Mookhey claimed the title becoming India’s fourth Miss World.


Immediately after Yukta’s win, Quantico actress, Priyanka Chopra, became the 5th Miss India to win the Miss World title.  Immediately after winning the crown, Priyanka started acting in Bollywood films, making her debut in The Hero: Love Story of a Spy.  After a series of very successful Bollywood films, Priyanka become the first South Asian lead in the American network series, Quantico which started airing in 2015.  Today, Priyanka has become both and Indian and American household name.


Since Priyanka’s 2000 win, Miss India has not won another title until last night.  Manushi Chhillar became India’s 6th Miss World winner.  The pageant was held in Sanya, China, with 118 contestants.  During the pageant, Manushi discussed her service project in which she personally educated over 5,000 women in rural villages throughout India about menstrual hygiene.

Manushi is 20, and hopes to continue pursuing her medical degree at the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women.


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