Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar’s journey from Miss World to Bollywood

14 May 2020 | Ana Walia

Manushi Chhillar is an Indian actress, model, who represented her state Haryana at the Femina Miss India 2017 and was declared as the winner at the end of the event finale. Winning Femina Miss India 2017 earned Manushi a chance to represent India at Miss World 2017 held on 18th November 2017 at the Sanya City Arena in Sanya, China. Manushi’s strong performance helped her win the title of Miss World 2017. She is the sixth Indian woman to win Miss World after Priyanka Chopra who won Miss World 2000.

Born in a family of doctors, Manushi completed her schooling at St. Thomas School, New Delhi and pursued MBBS from Bhagat Phool Singh Government College for Women, Sonipat, Haryana. The diva’s father; Mitra Basu Chhillar, is a scientist at Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), while her mother, Neelam Chhillar, is an associate professor and departmental head of neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences.



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Manushi stepped into the world of pageantry when she decided to enter Campus Princess where she was scouted by the Miss India Organization during a college fest at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in December 2016. Later, she went to participate and won the title fbb Fermina Miss India Haryana in April 2017 along with the titles of Miss Photogenic and Miss Ramp walk. The diva then represented the state of Haryana in the annual Femina Miss India competition and was crowned Femina Miss India 2017 in the finale held on 25th June 2017. During the competition, Chhillar was crowned Miss Photogenic, and went on to win the competition as well, earning the right to represent India at the Miss World 2017 competition.

During her stint in Miss World 2017, Manushi was the winner of the Head-to-Head Challenge from Group Nine and co-winner of the Beauty with a Purpose competition. She is fourth Beauty with a Purpose winner at Miss World from India and first Indian to win Miss World and Beauty with a Purpose jointly. Chhillar's Beauty with a Purpose project was Project Shakti. The campaign's goal is to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene. She visited about 20 villages for the project and treated over 5,000 women. "The poor menstrual management in our country and across the world has always bothered me as a person...That's one cause that I will take forward with me," she said in one of the interviews.

After winning and making India proud, Manushi came back to India to be greeted by a large crowd. She was one of the celebrity speakers at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad. Chhillar was announced as the brand ambassador for Anaemia Free Haryana. Her Beauty with a Purpose campaign, 'Project Shakti' was given government aid of ?18 crores, 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 was honored with the Special Achievement Award at the 2017 CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Awards for winning Miss World.



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The diva received Proud Maker of India award at Six Sigma Healthcare Leadership Summit 2017 in New Delhi. She was also guest speaker at the 10th C4IO by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise at Pushkar. 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.

Prior her homecoming, Manushi along with the Chairman and CEO of Miss World Julia Morely visited London and joined the royal honoring ceremony of Marsha Rae Ratcliff OBE, Past Master of The Worshipful Company of Carmen. In Februrauy 2018, Manushi started her beauty with a purpose project from Hyderabad as The Government of Telangana collaborated with Miss World 2017 and commenced the 1st global edition of ‘Feminine Hygiene Awareness’. Apart from the initiative, Manushi is also providing low-cost sanitary napkins to all the women in the developing areas. So far, Manushi has already covered more than 20 and growing number of villages in India. She thoroughly believes that the Miss World platform is giving a wonderful opportunity towards social causes to take the social mission to an altogether new level. Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle along with the other winners, Magline Jeruto, Ha Eun Kim, Annie Dian Evans, Stephaine Jayne Hill, Solange Johnson Sinclair, Alma Andrea Meza Carmona, touched on myths and cultural taboos as well.

Manushi went on her 42-days beauty with a purpose tour. The Miss World team landed in Indonesia in continuation with the humanitarian tour. Later, the team went to British Virgin Islands and worked to raise funds for the beauty with a purpose project of Miss British Virgin Islands 2017, Helina Hewlet. They were physically involved in the cleaning campaign of Eslyn Henley Richiez School, the only school for differently abled children in British Virgin Islands territory which was destroyed by Hurricane Maria and raised money for its restoration. She was felicitated at South Asian Women Empowerment gala held on International Women's Day in New York along with other women achievers and joined as a presenter for "South Asian Empowerment Awards".



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As a continuation of her humanitarian tour, Manushi and the team went to Brazil where the he First Lady of the State, Professor Lucia Franca discussed various social projects supported by the state. She initiated an awareness program to prevent and fight against leprosy. According to the diva, the aim was to teach people about the early signs of the disease and the ways to seek treatment. She also met and interacted with the children from the APAE, an organization that primarily works towards the welfare of children suffering from Down Syndrome.

She was named as a judge for the Femina Miss India 2018 contest held on 19th June 2018. She crowned her national successor, Anukreethy Vas at the end of the event. She then visited South Africa to take her project on menstrual hygiene forward. As a result of Chhillar's Beauty with A Purpose Project on feminine hygiene, machines that manufacture low cost and compostable sanitary pads were installed in Nelson Mandela's birthplace Mvezo. Chhillar, along with Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, inaugurated the first sanitary pad manufacturing unit set up by them in South Africa. The Miss World team also donated 100 bicycles to school children in Mvezo, Mandela's home village. Chhillar along with the Miss World team were invited to the sets of Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Chhillar crowned her successor Vanessa Ponce of Mexico at the end of Miss World 2018, which took place in Sanya, China on 8 December 2018. She donned a Sabyasachi lehenga during her final night as Miss World. The diva had already made her name in the industry by then and was roped by big brands and designers to endorse their products. She features in a commercial along with Kareena Kapoor. She walked on-stage for renowned designers during the Lakme Fashion Week and soon debuted in the 2018 of the annual celebrity calendars by leading Indian fashion photographer, Dabboo Ratnani.



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In May 2018, Chhillar joined hundreds of women in a 3 km walk through the streets of Delhi to create social awareness on the World Menstrual Hygiene Day. Manushi is an avid advocate for vegetarianism and has spoken about the same on various platforms. She expanded the scope of her Beauty with a Purpose campaign, Project Shakti and initiated an awareness programmamong rural women for HIV/AIDS in India.

In 2019, she was named as the 'Sexiest Vegetarian Personality' in India, by PETA. She reacted to the award by stating, "Being a vegetarian has actually been a way of life for me. My parents were vegetarians and while they gave me a choice, I never felt like I was missing on something. I've always been a vegetarian and have never felt like I needed to change that."

Chhillar is a gifted poet, a painter and Kuchipudi dancer. She wants to be a cardiac surgeon. Like most millennials, Chhillar seems to be a huge fan of Dilwaley Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) too. During a school trip to Jaipur, she climbed trees and ran across the fields. And for her, “it was a kind of DDLJ moment” when she posed amidst sarsonke khet.



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Manushi will be making her debut on-screen alongside Akshay Kumar in historical period drama film Prithviraj. Elaborating her role, Chhillar stated - “It is a huge responsibility to play princess Samyukta. She was a powerful personality and stood up for what is right and took the most important decisions of her life herself. Her life is an extremely important chapter in Indian history, and I will try my best to play her as accurately as possible.”

Manushi Chillar from Haryana is one of the most successful Miss World. Manushi Chhillar is a perfect combination of beauty with brains. She has always been proud of her Indian values and traditions. During her question and answer round at Miss World 2017, she was asked “Which profession should receive the highest salary in the world?” to which Chhillar answered, “A mother’s profession should receive the highest salary and respect in the world.” Her response garnered her widespread recognition and helped her win the title. She received several awards, took part in campaigns and promotions for social causes, and joined NGOs. In the same year, she also became India’s top trending personality on Google search.

Wishing Miss World 2017 a very Happy Birthday! You make us proud every day.