Saturday, December 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Priyanka crowned Miss World

LONDON, Dec 1 (PTI) — A cool and confident Miss India, Priyanka Chopra, charmed the world with her smile to become the fourth Indian in seven years to win the prestigious Miss World crown and keep the title home for the second consecutive year.

It was a moving and emotional moment for the 18-year-old belle as she took the crown from compatriot Yukta Mookhey here last night, amidst wide applause and cheers that greeted the hot favourite, who outsmarted 94 other damsels from across the world for the title.

Priyanka’s achievement, which follows Lara Dutta’s Miss Universe title in May, was reminiscent of 1994, when Ashwairya Rai and Sushmita Sen became Miss World and Miss Universe setting the trend for Indian winners in world beauty pageants.

A small goof notwithstanding, when she named Mother Teresa as “the most successful living woman”, Priyanka’s command over English and retention of nerves made her richer by $ 1,00,000 in the 50th year of the pageant.

Answering a question from Jerry Springer, famous American TV personality, the host of the two and half hours show telecast live for two billion people in 150 countries, Priyanka said she considered Mother Teresa as the most successful woman for her compassion and love and serving the leprosy patients with a smile.

The question was “who do you think is the most successful woman living today and why?”

The first runner-up for Miss World 2000 was Giorgia Palmas, 18, of Italy and the second runner-up was 20-year-old Yuksel Ak of Turkey.

Priyanka, a senior college student from a family of defence personnel, said she aspired to be a clinical psychologist and “enjoyed” dancing, listening to music, and reading and was associated with anti-polio and AIDS awareness drives.

The two other contestants to make it to the finals were Margarita Kravtsova of Kazakhstan and 18-year-old Thumsen Grien from Uruguay.

“I write poetry although none of my work has been published except in school magazines,” Priyanka who was 6 to 1 favourite at Ladbrokes, well-known betting house, said.

The golden jubilee year of the beauty pageant was a special evening studded not only with who’s who from the music and fashion worlds, but with most of the previous Miss Worlds to mark its 50th anniversary.

India’s first Miss World, Reita Faria Powell graced the occasion along with the Miss World 1952, May Louise Flodin of Sweden and an array of earlier Miss Worlds. Though former Miss World from India Diana Hayden was present Aishwarya Rai was conspicuous by her absence.

The panel of judges included well-known figures from the world of glamour, including Indian designer Hemant Trivedi.

NEW DELHI: For the middle class girl from Bareilly, it was not her physical beauty but her “Indianness” which took Priyanka to the winner’s podium at Miss World 2000 contest in London.

“My morals and values, which I inherit because I am an Indian, are embedded deeply in me. Nobody else can boast of the same kind of upbringing. I think that is what is going to make all the difference,” said a confident Priyanka, who was a hot favourite for the coveted title.

The dusky beauty, born on July 18, 1982 to army doctor Ashok Chopra and his wife Madhu Chopra, had a varied upbringing, that gave her the confidence, the poise and the intelligence which has stood her in good stead.

Though the 18-year-old quit studies owing to her involvement in beauty pageants in India and abroad, Priyanka said aspiring youngsters should plan their careers instead of following the beauty contests blindly.

“They should know the background we come from. The youngsters should not leave their studies and follow the models blindly. Whosoever has done it (quit studies), is regretting (the decision),” the winner said, adding she plans to continue her studies.

As for her future plans, she said she would continue to work for thalassemic children, besides being associated with the Pulse Polio and AIDS awareness programmes.


Priyanka’s family thrilled
From Rahul Das
Tribune News Service

AMBALA, Nov 1 — “We are feeling on top of the world,” say family members of the beauty queen, the new Miss World Priyanka Chopra.

Grandparents, uncle and cousins of Priyanka Chopra, who was crowned the new Miss World early this morning, are thrilled about her achievement.

Talking to The Tribune, Priyanka Chopra’s grandmother, Mrs Champa Chopra, said that she was extremely happy to learn about the news. “I cannot describe how happy I felt on learning that Mimi (Priyanka is affectionately called by that name by her family members) has become the Miss World,” she said.

The phone at Staff Road, Ambala cantonment, the residence of the Chopras, has not stopped ringing since she became Miss World.

Mrs Champa Chopra said she had wished Priyanka good luck before she left for the Miss World beauty pageant. “I spoke to her on the phone before she was leaving. I told her that from my side, she has already become the Miss World. I am so glad that she has achieved it,” she said.

Priyanka’s uncle, Mr Pawan Chopra, said they watched the Miss World beauty pageant throughout the night. “When Priyanka’s name was announced it was an out of this world feeling. It is a matter of great pride and joy for us,” he said.

Mr Pawan Chopra said they had been receiving congratulatory calls from all over the world. “Immediately, after Priyanka became Miss World, her father and my elder brother, Lieut-Col (retd) Ashok Chopra called us up from London to convey the good news. Priyanka’s mother, Mrs Madhu Chopra, is also there,” he said.

He said since childhood, Priyanka had been a confident girl who was active in all spheres of life. “She used to spend her vacations with us in Ambala and she used to love eating pickles prepared by my mother,” he said. “We are yet to speak to Priyanka after her historic achievement,” he added.

Mr Pawan Chopra said he had spoken to Priyanka during the rounds taking place at Maldives. “Priyanka was the youngest contestant and she was under pressure. I spoke to her and reassured her of our complete confidence in her,” he said.

Mrs Reena Chopra, wife of Mr Pawan Chopra, observed that Priyanka was a very level-headed girl. “Despite winning the crown, she was quiet normal during her visit to Ambala early this year,” she said.

Young cousins of Priyanka, Shivang, Sahaj and Parineeti, are overjoyed with the success of “Mimi didi”. Shivang, who is a student of Army School, said that he has told his school mates and teachers about Priyanka didi becoming Miss World. “My teacher said very good when I told her about didi becoming Miss World,” he said.

Earlier this year in February, talking to The Tribune, Priyanka Chopra who had come to Ambala to meet her grandparents after winning the Femina Miss India World crown said that although she was never keen for modelling “I always felt like a princess. Specially after Sushmita Sen was crowned Miss Universe, I had this secret desire to become like her.”

Eighteen-year-old Priyanka Chopra had then said “I had even made a collage of Sushmita Sen in my room. She was, one could say, a role model for me.”

To a query, Priyanka Chopra had then said that despite winning the crown, nothing had changed in her life. “I am absolutely the same person but definitely the sense of responsibility had increased,” she had said with a disarming smile.


Granny brought up Priyanka

BAREILLY, Dec 1 (UNI) — Mrs Madhu Jyotsana Akhauri, maternal grandmother of Priyanka Chopra, finds it hard to believe the little girl who was playing on her lap the other day has become a beauty queen winning the Miss World title.

“I watched the mega event the whole night and felt on top of the world when Mimi was adjudged the Winner”, she said. Priyanka was crowned Miss World at a glittering function in London last night.

This small town in Rohelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh has woken up to the fact that it is the home town of a beauty queen. Everywhere, people are discussing the mega event.

“I cannot believe the girl who was playing in our lap till yesterday has achieved this feat”, Mrs Akhauri said. Priyanka’s parents, Dr Ashok Chopra and Dr Madhu Chopra, had accompanied their daughter to London.

She credits Priyanka’s success to her determination and self confidence but also lauds the role of her daughter Dr Madhu Chopra behind the success of Priyanka.

The proud “nani” said it was she who practically brought up Priyanka as both her parents were employed.

Born on July 18, 1982, Priyanka, after completing her class X from St Maria Goretti School here, was pursuing her further studies at the Army School. At that time, she wanted to become a criminal psychologist, the grandmother recalls fondly.

However, winning the “May Queen” contest at Bareilly Club last year changed all that. She decided to take the plunge into the field of glamour and went on to take part in the Femina Miss India contest and the rest is history.

The 18-year-old idolises sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and is greatly influenced by both Indian classical and western music. Priyanka relishes Indian, Mexican and Spanish food and is specially attached to her 11-year-old brother Siddhartha, she said.

Meanwhile, Bareilly, widely known for its “surma” and “jhumka”, is jubilant today over the success of Priyanka and the recognition it has brought to the town.

A banner reading “mimi, we are proud of you” hangs at a hotel on the station road here. Almost every one watched the whole contest on TV last night and felt proud over Priyanka’s success, the fifth Indian to be crowned the Miss World.

Another city hotel has decided to set up a fan cub of Priyanka while some local businessmen are planning to give the world’s longest greeting card to Priyanka on her return to get the town listed in the Guiness Book of World Records.

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