In a rare gesture, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan will be conferred with an honorary degree of Doctorate of Arts by a UK University on July 19 this year in recognition of his distinguished career in films.
After receiving the degree at the graduation ceremony of the De Montfort University at Leicester, which attracts a considerable number of students from India every year, 64-year-old Bachchan, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, will address his fans at a special event at the Walkers Stadium at Filbert Way, which is expected to be attended by thousands of people.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was the last person to get such recognition from the University for his charitable work.
| "I am delighted that our University in Leicester will be the first in the UK to offer an honorary degree to Amitabh Bachchan. I'm also thrilled that Bachchan will be coming to meet the community at this very special event."|
--Keith Vaz, MP, Leicester East
"I am delighted that our University in Leicester will be the first in the UK to offer an honorary degree to Amitabh Bachchan. I'm also thrilled that Bachchan will be coming to meet the community at this very special event. I am pleased that he will be able to support a worthwhile charity in India, and I hope people will be able to respond positively," Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East, said in a statement.
A spokeswoman of the university said Bachchan "is a well-known figure in the creative industries and his energy and professionalism will be an inspiration to our graduates and students across the board, and especially to those wishing to pursue careers in this sector."
Leicester has several cinema halls exclusively screening Indian films. Local authorities have set in place policies and structures to encourage Indian producers to film and carry out post-production work in Leicester. Several Indian films have been shot in the county recently.