Those who know Miss Universe India 2011 Vasuki Sunkavalli use many words to describe her. Confident, intelligent, genuine, kind, strong, beautiful, etc. Perhaps the most fitting word is driven. This is a woman who has, in a relatively short time, accomplished many things. Undoubtedly, the most striking thing about Vasuki is her unyielding drive. She sets a goal, she works towards it, and she achieves it. What better role model for the young girls of today?
Vasuki attended Symbiosis International University and graduated with an LL.B degree in 2007. While there she was president of the Human Rights Cell and Deputy Editor of the University Law Review. It was during this period that she was approached several times by members of the fashion industry. She declined as her priority then was her education. She knew if tried to do both, she wouldn’t be able to give her all to either. Doing something halfway is not acceptable to Vasuki. In 2006, she received the Law School prize for Most Diligent Mooter and won the gold medal in the Inter-College Moot Court competition. At graduation, she was awarded the D.L. Mazumdar Medal for Overall Outstanding Performance in 2007 and the Mother Teresa Scholarship for exceptional work in Human Rights. Vasuki also found time to do an internship at a law firm conducting research and assisted in drafting license agreements. While in law school, she did a series of internships at India’s National Human Rights Committee where she drafted petitions and wrote shadow reports regarding women’s issues and general human rights issues such as right to healthcare and water.
In 2007, Vasuki made her entry into Indian fashion when she walked the ramp at Wills India Fashion Week. For the next two years, she had a prolific career as a model. She participated in various shows for many of India’s top designers and modeled for brands based in Mumbai, New Delhi, Jaipur, and Kolkata. She was also part of the ad campaigns of Nike, Kit Kat, and World Gold Council. During this period, Vasuki also worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Avahan Project for HIV/AIDS as Programming Officer. As assistant to the program director, she drafted policies and conducted fieldwork in an effort to spread awareness and introduce sex education to rural areas.
In 2009, Vasuki enrolled at New York University to study International Law and Human Rights. She graduated with an LLM as a recipient of the prestigious Dean’s Scholarship. Upon graduating, she interned at the Human Rights Watch in NYC where she worked on reports regarding illegal police detentions and children’s rights. She was then appointed as the Third Committee’s research assistant at the United Nations’ Permanent Mission of India. While there, she concentrated on human rights.
As one can see, Vasuki is deeply committed to making a contribution to the world that has given her so much. Infact, it was one of the reasons behind her enrollment in the Miss Universe pageant. Vasuki is many things. Vasuki is a woman on a relentless pursuit to make a difference. She is a lawyer, an athlete (she played basketball at both state and national levels for eight years), a model, and a crusader for human rights. But to those who know Vasuki, she is quite simply a woman whose gorgeous face pales in comparison to her inner beauty. Many say she is a beauty with brains, but she is in fact much more. She is a brutally honest woman who fights fearlessly for that which she believes is right. Vasuki demonstrates the generosity of spirit and dedication to community that is expected not only of a Miss Universe, but of a true citizen of world.