Preity Zinta University of East London

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Preity Zinta University of East London

Bollywood superstar Preity Zinta received an honorary doctorate from the University of East London.

The 35-year-old actress and social activist has been recognised by the university for her humanitarian work, as well as contribution to world cinema. The outspoken supporter of women’s rights and AIDS awareness spoke to Steven Baker about what the award means to her, the importance of education, and her upcoming film projects.

Preity Zinta University of East London

What is your reaction to receiving an Honorary Doctorate?

I am humbled and honoured. It is wonderful to receive this honour. In my career I have always won awards for films, but this the first time I am getting something for my cultural contribution or my humanitarian work, so I think this is always going to be extremely special to me. At first I wondered why I was getting it, and had this ‘ting’ smile on my face when I heard the news. So I think this one is going to be the closest to my heart.

You have turned down doctorates in the past…

When I was told that I was going to get this doctorate I wanted to know why, and for what reason. I was told it was for other things besides film and I thought that this was honour, and I did not feel that I deserved it just for films. It is not that I left my education half way. I studied, and I know the effort it takes to get something like this. You have to study for a couple of years, you have to make that effort and then you can achieve it. So at that point in my life I felt that just because I am doing a film or giving a performance I did not really feel that I deserved it.