Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan received an honorary doctorate degree from Melbourne’s La Trobe University for his contributions and efforts towards underprivileged children and women’s empowerment through Meer Foundation besides his achievements in the Indian entertainment industry.
The official Twitter account of the university shared a string of photographs of Khan and excerpts from his speech.
Khan said that he has “experienced firsthand the superficiality of social values that place a woman’s appearance before her inner worth.”
“This is not an award for anything the Meer Foundation might have achieved. It is for the courage of every woman who faces the brutality of injustice, inequality and inhumanity,” he added.
“Thank you for the kind gesture of offering a scholarship to a girl student from India for higher education and supporting the work at Meer Foundation,” the 53-year-old actor posted on Twitter earlier.
Khan’s philanthropic organisation, named after his father Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, has supported the cause of acid attack survivors.
The actor was also honoured with the Excellence in Cinema award at the 10th edition of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM).
In his acceptance speech, Khan, the chief guest, said in his close to 40 years of career, he has always cherished the process of filmmaking than the actual end product which at times ended up being “outrageous and different”.
The film extravaganza kicked off with a gala celebration, during which the winners for IFFM Awards 2019 were unveiled.
Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Andhadun’ dominated the night with two wins — Best Actress for Tabu and Best Director.
Tabu, who is attending the festival with Raghavan, said she will always remember this win.
The Best Actor trophy went to Tamil star Vijay Sethupathi for his film ‘Super Deluxe’, while filmmaker Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully boy’ was adjudged the Best Film.
Rima Das’ ‘Bulbul Can Sing’ was announced as the winner of Best Indie Film. The film, which had its world premiere at 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, will also open the festival on Friday.
Priya Ramasubban’s Ladakhi family drama ‘Chuskit’ shared the Best Equality in Cinema Award with ‘Super Deluxe’.
Indian National Award-winning director Onir won the Special Diversity award at this year’s ceremony.
The festival also commemorated the 21st anniversary of Karan Johar’s debut film ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, which featured Shah Rukh, Kajol and Rani Mukerji in the lead.
Khan stunned the jam packed hall by stepping into his dancing shoes along with a group of Down syndrome kids who were performing on the track ‘Apna time ayega’ from ‘Gully Boy’.
The ceremony was held at the iconic Palais Theatre in Melbourne, which is one of the city’s heritage landmarks.
Over the next nine days, the festival will feature 60 films in 21 languages.