Mumbai: Sargam Koushal brought back the Mrs World crown to India after 21 years and hopes to use her win as a ”catalyst” to inspire women and children to follow their dreams.
The Jammu-born model was announced the winner of the beauty pageant at a ceremony held in Las Vegas on December 17. She is the first Indian to win the title after model-actor Aditi Govitrikar (2001). Koushal succeeded US’s Shaylyn Ford, who was crowned Mrs World 2021.
“I’m grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be a medium and a catalyst of change. It is a way of empowering other women and kids around. This fame comes with a lot of responsibility,” Koushal told PTI in an interview here.
The Mumbai-based model, who dons multiple hats of being a painter, a content writer and a teacher, said her father motivated her to start modelling.
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“From the very beginning, my father never looked down upon modelling or pageantry. He thought it was beautiful… Whenever he used to see Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan or any other beauty queen, he would say ‘I want my daughter to do something of that sort’.”
Even though her father believed that Koushal would have a bright future in modelling, she wasn’t confident about it. Things took a turn for the better post her marriage in 2018 to an Indian Navy officer. She discovered she had a knack for public speaking after hosting a social gathering for the service personnel and their families.
“With dad’s persistence and my determination, it all just happened,” Koushal said, adding that she soon enrolled for the beauty pageant.
She also hopes people from her native Jammu look at her win as a shining example of the region’s potential. ”I hope with this people of Jammu start realising that the youth have a lot of potential and can do much better if given the right platform,” she added.
Koushal said she will soon visit Jammu to meet her parents, extended family and friends.
Going forward, she would continue to pursue modelling. “I enjoy being in front of the camera… I don’t know about acting, but I would like to pursue modelling,” she said.