Former Miss India winners take upon social causes to bring change in society

13 Aug 2020 | Ana Walia

A beauty queen is not just passionate about representing her country at an international platform but also focus on using the platform by voicing their opinions, views, and ideas about changing or doing something good for the society. The platform gives them a massive outreach and is an apt way to make their voices heard. Following cue, former Miss India beauties have been working exceptionally well when it comes to working for the society since their win.

Here are the former Miss India winners who have not only spoken about their advocacies on-stage but have been working hard towards making the society a better place to live with their advocacies –  

Miss World 2000 Priyanka Chopra is considered as a philanthropist at heart who has worked and is working every day to eradicate the social issues through her foundation, "The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education,” that works towards providing support to the under-privileged children across the country in the areas of Education and Health. She donates 10 percent of everything she earns, enough to help 70 children, to her foundation to help alleviate the suffering of these children. Priyanka was recently named a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, after serving as a National Goodwill Ambassador to India for ten years. She is also a United Nations Foundation Girl Up Champion, and is involved in several efforts to protect children’s rights and promote the education of girls in India. She fundraises, advocates, and educates people on the goals of UNICEF and is often featured in videos and advertisements to build awareness for child rights depicting her commitment to advocating for the world’s most marginalized people: women and children. In May 2019, Priyanka took a trip to Ethiopia with UNICEF to visit three refugee camps in Bambasi, Hitsats and Adi-Harush. According to UNICEF, Chopra said during her visit that, “Ethiopia is a shining example of what we individuals, communities and governments can do to help those who have been displaced by conflict and humanitarian disasters.” She has been vocal about women's rights, gender equality, gender pay gap and environment through her campaigns.



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Miss Asia Pacific 2000 Dia Mirza is a well-known environmentalist and activist who has lent her voice to a snow leopard called ‘Layla’ for an environmental podcast of Run Wild, which is a collaboration between Runtastic, the UN Environmental Programme and Internet of Elephants. has been involved with Cancer Patients Aid Association and Spastics Society of India, and has worked extensively with the government of Andhra Pradesh to spread HIV awareness, prevention of female feticide, PETA, CRY and most recently the NDTV Greenathon – an effort to find tangible solutions against pollution and the book, "Deke Dheko" by Radio Mirchi. Currently, Dia is working towards bringing sustainability and environment conservation and was appointed as UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India. She expressed her happiness by posting on social media, “It is an honour and privilege to be appointed the UN Secretary General's Advocate of Sustainable Development Goals. I will strive to convey the importance of achieving sustainable development for the planet.” She has also been the face of many pivotal environmental campaigns across India like #Beatplasticpollution and strongly believes that people should stop using single use plastic, eat green diet and promote waste segregation. Mirza has been felicitated at award functions for her active involvement in social and environmental issues. Dia has hosted United Nations Champions Gala 2019 with Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin and attended the 14th UN Conference of the Parties and hosted the finale reception. The diva initiated a cleanliness drive at Juhu beach on Independence Day 2019 and another at Mahim beach on 26th January, to make the beach free from single-use plastic. Mirza supports Ramky’s BIG Green Ganesha and felicitated the winners with Tree Ganeshas in 2019.



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Miss World India 2014 Koyal Rana co-founded a non-governmental organization, ‘Moksha Foundation’ and started to work for the awareness and advocating about the cause of sanitation and hygiene. In fact, Koyal won ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ project at Femina Miss India 2014 was about her contribution regarding the same under Swastha Bhavishya project. The diva has also visited a dozen schools to try out various methods of raising awareness about the project by using different content each time with the children to check their responses. She is a TEDx speaker and talks about the hygiene and menstruation awareness in the country as she feels that it is one of the essentials that needs the utmost attention. Her focus is on creating awareness among children. She explains, “There is a lack of awareness amongst children about water borne diseases caused by unhygienic conditions. The absence of clean washrooms and soap in schools are due to the dearth of available resources with the school management. And, lack of washrooms for girls in contrast to those available for boys.”



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Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar launched “Project Shakti” during Miss World 2017 competition for her Beauty with A Purpose campaign. The project aims to educate women about the importance of menstrual hygiene management, constructing adequate sanitation facilities and providing quick access to feminine hygiene products. She visited about 20 villages for the project and treated over 5,000 women. Her project was given the government aid of 18 crore rupees ensuring free availability of sanitary napkins for all girls in the government schools of Haryana by Chief Minister of the state Manohar Lal Khattar. She made an appearance in special show Super Nights with Padman to promote her Beauty with a Purpose project on menstrual hygiene, in association with Akshay Kumar's Pad Man (film). She is a strong advocate for vegetarianism and has expressed her views on the subject on various platforms. The diva was appointed as the ambassador for Government of Haryana's campaign to curb Anemia, which was instituted since almost 61 per cent of the women in the state were affected from the disease. She expanded the scope of her Beauty with a Purpose campaign, ‘Project Shakti’ and initiated an awareness program among rural women for HIV/AIDS in India. On initiating this program, she stated - "AIDS awareness among women will be one of the key initiatives of Project Shakti, because I feel women of our country are at risk due to lack of awareness programs. We work with hundreds of women across India and we are looking to educate them about AIDS awareness so that they can spread this message in their respective communities. It is essential for our country to fight AIDS and I'm looking forward to doing my bit for the cause." Recently, On World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020, Manushi participated in UNICEF global initiative called the Red Dot Challenge — a symbol adopted by the world body to depict menstrual cycles. She quoted “I’m proud and honored to be associated with UNICEF for this novel initiative that aims at debunking misinformation, taboos and also raise awareness on this critical issue.” She has also urged state governments in India to distribute sanitary pads, along with daily ration to the daily wage-earning women, who had become prone to severe risks due to shortage of funds in their hands, during the crisis.



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Miss World 2019 Second Runner-up Suman Ratan Rao has been actively working under her campaign, ‘Project Pragati’ which helped her to make it to the Top10 at the competition. She is known for her humble, kind, and big heart which holds a special place for the working for women of the country. She desires to bridge the gap of education and status of the women in the country with her project for which she took initiatives to help the dreams of women in tribal communities by assisting them in acquiring financial independence. She procured machines which aids in the production of aloe vera and rose extracts, gels, and shampoo. Her project received support from the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation and through this institution, the women were trained to make handlooms, decorative handicrafts, accessories, and jewelry. These products are sold near the Jaipur City Palace and through an online website. She associated with the Bharat Sevashram Sangha, a nonprofit organization backed by the United Nations, for an even wider reach of their products.



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