MUMBAI: It is one of most coveted crowns in the country, but this year, the Miss India contest had not one, but three winners, organisers said on Monday, with all three finalists being treated on par with each other.
"Unlike the previous years, we decided that all three finalists, who represent the country in different international pageants after bagging the titles, were all winners. That is why we decided to name three winners," pageant director Manish Suri said.
Setting the confusion aside, he said, "Sarah Jane Dias will represent the country in the Miss World contest while Puja Gupta will go to the Miss Universe contest. Pooja Chitgopekar will participate in the Miss Earth pageant. All are contests of international standards and therefore all three girls are winners. There is no one winner."
All three winners said they were well aware of the rules of the contest this time around and happy with the format.
Last night at a glittering ceremony, Sarah was crowned Miss India World, while Gupta and Chitgopekar were conferred Miss India Universe and Miss India Earth titles respectively.
"I always wanted to do this, ever since I was five years old and this year I had an inkling that it was the right time to enter. That instinct proved right," the 24-year-old Sarah said.
In the past, the winner of the Miss India Universe title was declared the winner of the pageant while the Miss India World was the runner up.