PFMI World ’09 Pooja Chopra’s campaign at the Miss World event was doubtful as she was injured just a day before the final event. However, she did make Indians feel proud as she won the Beauty With A Purpose award at the competition. Other nominees for the award were Miss Barbados and Miss Guatemala. The kind award is given to a contestant who has done a thorough charitable work in her home country. Pooja is actively involved in a campaign to save the girl child in India.
The award made Pooja an easy entry to Miss World 2009 semi-finals, where when all the contestants were seen gliding on the stage, Pooja appeared with a cast on her leg. When Pooja was eliminated from the pageant, her sister Shubhra Mendonca said, “Pooja has definitely made India proud. I am getting calls from all over India. But I still believe that if she had not been injured, she would have surely got the crown home. She had taken heavy painkillers just to be on stage for this evening. She was crying backstage too. She was shattered because of this mishap. Throughout her entire life, Pooja has always been a winner, be it Miss Pune or at the NDA ball.”
Suffering from the mishap, Pooja was already started losing hope before the finale as she had said, “I already feel I am out of the competition.” She had been advised by doctors to take bed rest for three weeks. However, determined Pooja walked across the stage with the help of painkillers. When she was announced as one of the semi-finalists, she burst into tears. “I am speechless at this moment,” said Pooja, hugging anchor Angela Chow.
Her sister added, “My mother is also in South Africa, and just told me that everybody is congratulating her. Being the elder sister, I was quite worried for her and had initially advised her to back out, but Pooja was furious. She replied, ‘It’s not Pooja Chopra participating in Miss World, it’s Miss India.’ If it was some other girl, she would’ve surely withdrawn, but it was only Pooja’s strength and desire to win that kept her going.”