Compilation: Shivangi Singh & Harsha Mary
Every young girl covets the crown of Miss World, but only a few claim it. Miss World pageant began in 1951 and since then, five beautiful women from India have brought the crown home. Here is a short information on Indian beauty queens who made it to the top at the Miss World contest.
Reita Faria was the first Indian to be crowned Miss World in 1966. Mumbai-raised Reita was one of the best known Indians worldwide in her times.
Reita had the daring and will to make it to the top even in those conservative times.
In the mid 1960s, Faria was much more than a celebrity.
Many of her admirers salute Reita's steadfast mind, having read how she spurned a glamorous life for the pursuit of medicine, giving that up to nurture her two daughters. Anyone over the age of 40, it seems, knows of Reita Faria Powell. Many remember seeing her on television, during reruns of the Bob Hope show in South Vietnam, staged soon after she won the Miss World crown in 1966.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
After a long hiatus, another gorgeous lady emerged in the fashion scene – Aishwarya Rai. Ash made India proud in the year 1994 at Sun City, when she confidentially went on to claim the Miss World title. Born in the South Indian state of Karnataka in Manglore on 1st Nov 1973, Aishwarya was foremost in academics.
Aishwarya wanted to do medicine, but instead she chose Architecture for further studies. Simultaneously, she also started getting modelling assignments. Ash soon became a household name with the Pepsi ad campaign with Aamir Khan. And her next step was winning Femina Miss India title and later the Miss World crown. Ash was showered with tempting Bollywood and Hollywood offers. She succeeded in film industry also, doing prestigious Bollywood and Hollywood projects like ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,’ ‘Raincoat’, ‘Provoked’ etc. She married Abhishek Bachchan in 2007 and is now a part of the prestigious Bachchan family of Bollywood.
After Aishwarya, Diana Hayden flashed in the fashion scene after claiming the Miss World crown in 1997. Born in 1973 in Hyderabad, she comes from an Anglo-Indian family.
Diana completed her schooling from the St Anns High School, Secunderabad. She graduated from the Osmania University in Hyderabad. After that, she started her career as a model. She could not refuse Bollywood’s calling and has been doing films. She has also acted in a couple of English movies like ‘Othello: A South African Tale’ and ‘All Alone’ both released in 2006. Diana Hayden hosts a popular show called "Biography•on History channel. Recently, she was one of the contestants of Bigg Boss 2.
A tall, handsome girl Yukta Mookhey won the Miss World crown again for India in 1999. She was born on October 07, 1979. Yukta had a degree in Zoology from VG Vaze College, Mulund and also studied Fine Arts for 3 years. She had been a student of classical music since she was 11 years old.
Soon after getting crowned the Femina Miss India 1999, Yukta was flooded will good offers from Bollywood. She finally made her debut against Aftab Shivdasani in ‘Pyaasa’. Her venture in filmdom was not quite successful.
Recently, she got married to Prince Tuli, a financial analyst and Director of the Tuli Group which has a chain of Hotels, Resorts, Malls and Educational institutions in Central India.
Priyanka Chopra made the country proud in 2000, when she won the coveted Miss World title. Born on 18th July 1982 to Capt Dr Ashok Chopra and Dr Madhu Chopra, Priyanka came from an army background. She started her education from La Martiniere Girls College in Lucknow and studied for a short while at Maria Goretti College in Bareilly. She completed her 10th from Boston, USA. Her goal was to become a criminal psychologist or a software engineer.
But destiny had something else in store for her. Priyanka was always interested in modelling and her desire was to win a beauty pageant. After returning from Boston she received a call to participate in the Femina Miss India Pageant. She won the contest and went on to win the Miss World Beauty pageant.
Priyanka loves music, enjoys reading, biographies being her favourite. She also has a flair for writing poetry and short stories. She has worked a lot for several welfare programmes. She went on to join film industry after being flooded with offers. She got appreciation for Waqt, Aitraaz, Mujse Shaadi Karoge, Krissh, Fashion and most recently, Dostana. Priyanka, at present, is the leading candidate for number one slot in Bollywood.
And India is eagerly waiting for its next Miss World…