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Shilpa Shetty or Dr. Shilpa Shetty

July 20: Leeds Metropolitan University presented icon of Indian cinema Shilpa Shetty with an honorary doctorate for outstanding contribution to cultural dversity.

University confers honorary degrees to select recipients every year. On the occasion of India celebrating 60 years of its independence, Leeds wishes to commemorate India's struggle for freedom by honouring prominent Indian personalities who have contributed to the emergence of India as a fast developing, cinema-proud nation.

Shilpa was delighted while expressing her heartfelt gratitude to Leeds Metropolitan University for bestowing this esteemed gesture upon her. She said, "I am sincerely grateful and humbled by the honour that such a prolific academic institution has so kind heartedly presented to me. I have utmost respect for Leeds Metropolitan University for its constant strive for cultural diversity and representation through the rich programme of study that it offers, ensuring that people from all walks of life are equally represented.

"Education and knowledge are the tools we pick up while we're growing and they last a lifetime. Leeds Metropolitan University gives those tools to thousands of its alumni and I'm proud to join those alumni as a honourary graduate from this university and that too as a doctor. No filmmaker has been so bold as to give me the role of a doctor in any of my films but you managed to do what even the magic of cinema hasn't!"

Shilpa also encouraged the university to "keep teaching future generations and making tomorrows pioneers today."

She said: "It is with great honour I humbly accept this doctorate and thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Shilpa Shetty joined the ranks of other luminaries of Indian cinema, such as actors Amitabh Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and filmmaker Yash Chopra, who were also recently presented with honorary doctorates by the institution at the IIFA Weekend that took place in Yorkshire last month. The Asian News

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