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Beauty with a Purpose

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Yukta Mookhey - Miss World 1999


Miss World & Beauty With A Purpose

Yukta Mookhey - India

Miss World 1999, looks back on the remarkable year of achievement during which she has more than fulfilled the responsibilities that are linked with the Miss World theme ‘Beauty with a Purpose’


To be on top of the world! It was my childhood dream. And on 4 December 1999, this dream came true. I was crowned Miss World 1999 at a glittering ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, London. I was one of 94 contestants who had participated from all over the world, from as many different countries. The whole amazing experience took a while to sink in, and, almost before I’ve realised it, my year is almost over.


The experience of holding a world-title that places one on a pedestal – so that the whole world looks on at you with awe and admiration – had tremendous responsibilities attached to it. And during my tenure as Miss World 1999 I have been extremely fortunate to have had the benefit of the guidance of the organisers of this prestigious event, a couple who have been so loving and caring – dear Julia Morley and her late husband, Eric, the creator of this wonderful pageant and everything that goes with it.


Responsible  The beautifully crafted Miss World crown that was placed on my head on 4 December, 1999, along with the laurels that it bestowed on me, also brought with it some significant responsibilities, as I’ve mentioned above. I’m extremely proud, indeed, elated, to have carried out these responsibilities to the very best of my abilities. This entire special year as the chosen woman of the Millennium has helped me, too, to become more responsible and mature.

The culture and heritage of my own country, India, has blended well with my new role as ambassador of several issues. These are issues that need to be attended to by the many countries that are in a position to help those who are in desperate need of not only compassion but also of those vital funds.


While travelling in countries such as El Salvador, and Nigeria, I was extremely touched by the plight of children who need immediate attention to improve both their medical and nutritional conditions. It is my responsibility to make this earnest appeal to you that you should please do more than you best to help erase the curse of disease and malnutrition, so that these under-privileged children of the world will see a better future.


Potential  I would like to thank the organisers most sincerely for giving ‘the women of the future’ a platform from which they can be heard, both for their opinions, as well as being respected in their own right. It is a matter of great pride for me to be a part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Miss World event. Going down in history as the last Miss World of the twentieth century, and crowning the new Miss World of the Millennium, will always be the most memorable events of my life.


I would be failing in my duties if I did not mention the organisers of the Miss India contests back home – The Times of India Publication Group, without who I would not be here today. The training and the exposure we get, after selection, helps to nurture our potential and stretch us to our limits to cross all boundaries and make a mark in the world.


The team selected to train the contestants in India consists of experts in every field. It is they who are responsible for the polishing and final creation of beautiful diamonds from uncut stones.

The results are surely proof enough that India cannot be ignored (as we have been in the past), with five winners at international level. I’m extremely proud to have been born in a country that is second to none in every field, whether it is technology, business, spiritual knowledge or beauty.


Experience  I wish everyone who has been involved in this spectacular pageant, and all its surrounding activities, the very best for the future. And, with feelings of nostalgia, I would wish to be associated with memories of dear Mr & Mrs Morley and with the whole Miss World team, who have all made this such a beautiful experience for me.


Throughout the year there have been, for me, tremendous pressures and also tremendous adulation. I would not have been able to cope with all this without the love and support of my dear parents. My parents were always at my side, whenever I needed them, and have been pillars of strength at every turn. I hope to use this rich experience to march forward in my life with great zest and enthusiasm, to go on and better myself as a human being and to achieve greater heights. I will carry forward the torch, along with the others, to show the path towards a world of compassionate and loving people.

Special Features

Each week, BWP will present a new in-depth report on one of the many charity projects worldwide that has benefitted from the work of Julia Morley and the support of Beauty with a Purpose. Keep watching this space for more details on these special features.



Julia Morley



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