Indian cinema icon Amitabh Bachchan presented an Indian student with a scholarship of up to $200,000 at La Trobe University in Melbourne on May 2.
The recipient of the Amitabh Bachchan Scholarship that runs for four years, is La Trobe graduate Roshan Kumar, who is from Ranchi in Jharkhand. He will work towards a doctorate in the potential of using social media to better communicate health messages to India’s estimated 80 million social media users.
“I have grown up watching Amitabh Bachchan in movies. To imagine that I would meet him in person still seems like a dream,” Roshan Kumar said of his meeting with the ‘Angry Young Man’ here.
“I am honoured to receive this scholarship which will help fund my research into improving the health of thousands of people living in India,” added Roshan Kumar, who graduated from La Trobe with a Masters in International Business in 2010.
The scholarship will be presented every four years by Amitabh, to an Indian citizen to develop a thesis related to media, digital technology and communication.
Earlier, the 72-year-old actor had taken to his blog to thank the state of Victoria for naming a scholarship after him.
He views it as a way of “fructifying the bonds that exist between our two nations and lending unstinted support to our film industry in conducting such events to acquaint the locals with our cinema”.
The University’s vice chancellor John Dewar said it was an exciting and important day for the institution.
“La Trobe University is very proud that Mr. Bachchan has agreed to work with us and help support the education of the next generation of Indian leaders who will help make a difference to the complex problems facing our world today. This is the beginning of a very exciting educational partnership between La Trobe University and a legend of the Indian film industry,” he added.
Some La Trobe staff members of Indian origin and local students were able to meet with and talk to Bachchan. Melbourne-based fans also caught a glimpse of him during his visit.
In May 2013, the University officially renamed its Agora Cinema the Yash Chopra Cinema for one year, launching a series of Indian film screenings that made the campus a focus for Melbourne’s Indian community.
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