Divita Rai is India’s representative in the 71st Miss Universe pageant. Scheduled to air on January 15 at 6:20AM IST, delegates from around the world will compete for the title at the Ernest N. Morality Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
Here are five facts about the 25-year-old before the coveted pageant begins ‘Sone Kichidia’ Who represents India.
Divita Rai was born in Mangaluru, Karnataka and graduated from Sir JJ School of Architecture, Mumbai. She never gave up on her Miss Universe dream, despite trying her hand at designing and even assisting with the film’s set design.
In 2021, she came third in the Miss Universe pageant, losing to defending Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu. She then entered and won the 2022 Miss Diva pageant the following year.
In several interviews, Divita Rai highlighted several issues related to women in India, including polycystic ovary syndrome and the importance of education for girls in the country. She has also been working with top Indian NGOs such as CRY, Nanhi Kali and Teach for India.
While her national attire is inspired by “the ethereal portrayal of India as the golden bird, which symbolizes our rich cultural heritage wealth and spiritual nature in harmony with diversity”, the swimwear category in which she wears a cape, named Dil Se, is is an ode to love without any judgment and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community.
Last year, 21-year-old Harnaaz Sandhu was crowned the 70th Miss Universe pageant. Before Harnaaz, only two Indians had ever been crowned Miss Universe – Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000.
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