NEW DELHI: Hailing her as a rare combination of "beauty and intelligence", the medical fraternity today praised Manushi Chhillar for winning the Miss World title while hoping that she will go on to become a doctor.
The aspiring cardiac surgeon from Haryana, who is currently enrolled in a MBBS programme at a college in Sonepat, yesterday swept the world off its feet while ending India's 17-year-old drought at the top pageant.
Dr Y K Gupta, professor and head of the department of pharmacology at the AIIMS, was thrilled to see her ace the contest, in which 20-year-old Chhillar edged out contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico in the grand finale of the mega event, which saw participation from 118 countries.
"I watched her, the poise with which she faced the jury. And, she is a medical student. She is one of the rarest combination of beauty, intelligence and hard work. And, I was reading about her that she is also good in studies."
"But, at this moment, the world is her oyster. And, it is easy to take the predictable path of glamour and acting in films, which most of these beauty queens do. But, as a doctor I feel, she should complete here studies. And, when she becomes 'Dr Chhillar' that would her second crowning glory," he told PTI.
Chhillar's father is a scientist while her mother is an associate professor and department head of neurochemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, in Delhi. She wishes to open a chain of non-profitable hospitals based in rural areas, her profile reads.
A former student of the old St. Thomas' School here, she counts former beauty queen Reita Faria as an inspiration, incidentally the first Indian to wear the Miss World crown in 1966, who went on to pursue a career in medicine.
Neurologist P K Sachdeva at the Venkateshwar Hospital in Dwarka, also said that Chhillar should complete her medical education, as "this was also her dream".
"Getting into a good medical college, and then pursuing a five-year course is a very rigorous and stressful task. She has already secured an admission and is mid-way through her course. She should not drop out.
"In fact, after completing her education, she can balance out both careers, wear both the crowns," he said.
Sachdeva said her triumph in India and China, also sends out a message to students pursuing medicine that one can and should indulge in extracurricular activities, beyond reading those medical tomes.
UK-based Shashank Pooniya, 33, who did an MD in forensic medicine and three years of senior residency at the AIIMS before moving abroad, said, "Chhillar's feat somewhere especially relates to us doctors and students of the famed campus."
"She was the winner of the 'Campus Princess' audition held along with our culture festival -- AIIMS Pulse 2016 -- and then went on to win Miss India title after that. It is indeed a great feeling and her success shows us a path that even from our busy careers, we can find out time for our interests," he told PTI.
Dr Puneeta Mahajan, consultant (obstetrician and gynaecologist) and medical superintendent at the Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital in Delhi, says, "We are extremely happy and proud of her achievements."
"She has come out of this tough contest with flying colours. We are very hopeful that she would perform with the same elan in her medical career and make us all proud again," she said.
Dr Gupta of AIIMS says, by becoming a doctor and serving humanity, she can be a "star in real life".