At the grand finale of the beauty pageant, Meenakshi Choudhary, who has an army background and is pursuing a career in dental surgery, spoke about why we need to strive for peace.
“My father once said that the day hatred and violence goes out of our mind is the day it goes out of our sight. So I truly believe that it is time for us to stop the war in the mind, to use our resources, knowledge, and strength to work and fight against injustice with humanity, equality, empathy, and dialogue. The father of my great nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and his friend, Nelson Mandela, showed us that great change can be brought by single actions. Hence, I request you to stop the war and live together in love and peace,” said Meenakshi Choudhary at the grand finale of Miss Grand International 2018.
Placing India in the top 5 at the 6th edition of the pagent, Meenakshi lost the title to Clara Sosa of Paraguay. This year's beauty paegent was hosted in Myanmar and saw participation from 90 countries. A native of Haryana, Meenakshi comes from an army background. She grew up across the country and is currently pursuing a career in dental surgery. An avid sportsperson, she has represented her state in several badminton and swimming championships.
Focused on driving change and propagating peace, the Miss Grand International was themed around "Stop the War and Violence”, said the official website.
The winner, Clara Sosa, succeeds Miss Grand International 2017 Maria Jose Lora of Peru. Miss Grand Indonesia Nadia Purwoko was the 2nd runner-up, Miss Grand Puerto Rico Nicole Colon was adjudged was the 3rd runner-up, and Miss Grand Japan Haruka Oda was adjudged the 4th runner-up, said Navbharat Times.
Earlier this year, in an interview with IANS, Meenakshi had spoken for the state she belongs to, Haryana, and appreciated its efforts for leading from the front. She said,
“My state has really done an excellent job, especially with the help of government. So now we really can’t say that girls are less because they are actually working so hard to bring equality in terms of boys and girls, in terms of gender. Time has proven that girls are not less than anybody, specifically in Haryana. You see in terms of sports, beauty pageants, I think Haryana has left a mark with Manushi Chillar, Phogat sisters. We’ve made mark in each and every field.”