Besides India, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Panama will also be represented by Indian-origin women at the Miss Universe pageant 2019.
For the first time in the history of the international beauty pageant, five Indian-origin contestants will be competing for the coveted Miss Universe crown in the 68th edition of the title on Sunday.
Besides Vartika Singh, from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, who will be representing India in the televised competition, four other contestants have Indian roots, but will be representing different countries on the global stage.
One of them is Priya Serrao, the first Indian-Australian to be crowned Miss Universe Australia. The 27-year-old was born to Indian parents in Secunderabad in the southern state of Hyderabad, but spent most of her childhood in Oman and Dubai before moving to Melbourne with her family at the age of 11.
She currently works as a policy advisor for the Victorian government and has tertiary degrees in Politics, International Studies, and Law.
Shweta Sekhon, a freelance fashion model of Punjabi descent will be representing Malaysia in the beauty contest. According to the official Miss Universe website, Ms Sekhon best describes herself as a 'sporty person' who was the captain of her school hockey team.
Singapore will be represented by Mohanaprabha Selvam, who belongs to the ethnic Indian minority in the country, and strongly advocates equality and inclusivity. She recently acquired a degree in Biomedical Science and aspires to work towards promoting sustainable food and businesses to improve lives.
First-generation immigrant, Mehr Eliezer who was born in New Delhi, but was raised in the Philippines and Panama will be representing Panama at the acclaimed competition. She is also the first nationalised Panamanian to ever participate and win the Miss Universe Panama pageant.
Eighty six other participants will compete at the annual pageant to be held at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend. The three-hour show, hosted by Steve Harvey, will be aired LIVE on Fox and Telemundo.