The Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship, which was named after the superstar last year, has been awarded to a young female researcher from Kerala. The actor says he is a staunch believer in education.
It has gone to researcher Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi from Thrissur (Kerala), working on farming practices through animal science, ecology and molecular studies.
Chosen from over 800 Indian women, she was awarded the four-year scholarship at a ceremony here on Wednesday.
“I’m a staunch believer in education and I would like to congratulate Gopika. The way forward for everyone is educated and there’s never an end to education,” Shah Rukh said.
“Empowering and educating women is key and the world goes forward with educating women. I think education in India or anywhere else in the world is a step forward.”
He feels that Gopika is lucky as she’s soon going to be studying at La Trobe which is a “fantastic university and I’m glad she’s getting this opportunity to do this PhD on her research”.
“I admire Gopika’s dedication and determination. This scholarship will enable her to travel to La Trobe in Melbourne, Australia where she will pursue her dreams of helping to improve India’s agriculture sector,” he added.
This comes before the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will enter its eleventh year. The team had organised a prelude event in Mumbai before their main event in Melbourne.
“It has been an overwhelming journey that has gathered strength from all quarters in the past 10 years. The content landscape has changed and it’s heartening to see lines between commercial and independent cinema blurring. It’s the celebration of great stories now,” said festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange.
“IFFM continues its dedicated work towards supporting diverse voices and cinema. I am ecstatic about the initiatives we have taken, especially our association with La Trobe University, which takes us beyond what is covered under the purview of a standard film festival. We are looking at the growth of a community and taking the spirit of cinema to the masses. Having Mr Khan support a young researcher’s dream is a step towards us collectively furthering our social responsibilities.”
“We are also really excited to launch our Inclusive Film making workshops that further advocates true inclusive film making both behind and in front of the camera,” she added.