India's Manushi Chhillar on Saturday won the coveted "Miss World 2017" title at a glittering event in Sanya, China ending 16 years of drought for India at the international pageant. All pictures/AFP
Manushi is the sixth Indian to win the title and the first since Priyanka Chopra won the crown in 2000
"The feeling is still sinking in and I am very excited to make India proud too. I'm also looking forward to the year ahead," Manushi said in a statement after the win.
All of 20, Manushi was born to doctor parents in Haryana, which once ranked the worst among all states in sex ratio in India.
"My parents have always been my pillar of support and having them here tonight by my side has only brought me more strength and joy. My final answer also came to me by having them here with me in front of me," said Manushi, whose family members, including a brother and a sister, were present at the gala
In the question-and-answer round after she was shortlisted among the top five, Manushi was asked: "Which profession deserves the highest salary and why?" She said a mother deserves it most
Manushi was ecstatic and emotional when she was announced the winner from among contestants from 108 countries. She was crowned by Miss World 2016 winner, Puerto Rico's Stephanie Del Valle
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was announced the first runner up, while Miss England Stephanie Hill was declared the second runner up at the event, held at Sanya City Area
Apart from the main title, Manushi also won the 'Beauty with Purpose' award
The 20-year-old from Haryana, who is a medical student, edged out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico at the event, which saw participation from 118 countries
The first and the second runners-up were Miss England Stephanie Hill and Miss Mexico Andrea Meza at the event, which was televised live globally.
"Thank you, everyone, for your constant love, support, and prayers. This one's for India," Chhillar wrote on her official Twitter handle.
Chhillar is the sixth Indian to win the coveted crown, which was first won by Reita Faria back in 1966
Manushi Chhillar's win brings India at level with Venezuela as the countries with most victories in the history of the pageant
According to Chhillar's profile on the Miss World website, her father, Dr. Mitra Basu Chhillar, is a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation, while her mother, Dr. Neelam Chhillar, is an associate professor and department head of neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.
Manushi Chillar studied at St. Thomas' School in New Delhi, and is pursuing a medicine degree at the Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonipat
Manushi Chhillar aims to be a cardiac surgeon and wants to open a chain of non-profitable hospitals based in rural areas
A trained Indian classical dancer, Chhillar has a passion for outdoor sports and actively participates in paragliding, bungee jumping, snorkelling and scuba diving besides sketching and painting. Her personal motto, as described on the website, reads: "When you cease to dream you cease to live" and "Courage to give flight to your dreams and the ability to believe in yourself makes life worth living".