Swaroop Sampat Rawal

Left to right: Vinod Tawde, David Green, Dr. Swaroop Sampat Rawal, Paresh Rawal, and Dr. Vijendra Vikhe Patil. Former actress and ex-Miss India Sampat Rawal has received an honorary doctorate for her contribution to the field of education and inclusion. (photo provided)

MUMBAI— University of Worcester felicitated educationalist and actress Dr. Swaroop Sampat-Rawal with an honorary doctorate to recognize her contribution to the field of education and inclusion.

The University of Worcester hosted “Celebrating Inclusion” in Mumbai to target students, educators and government to have a wider presence across India and increase recruitment. The event was attended by government ministers, education leaders, and well-known personalities. Vinod Tawde, Education Minister, government of Maharashtra, was the Chief Guest of Honor and delivered the keynote address.

Paresh Rawal, National award-winning actor and Member of Parliament, graced the occasion as Special Guest and cheered for his wife. Prakash Jawadekar, Honourable Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India, sent a personal message wishing not only Dr. Sampat but also the University of Worcester in all its endeavors.

Renowned as one of Britain’s best universities for educating teachers, the University of Worcester also launched a new Diploma in Personal Social Education. The University has teamed up with Dr. Sampat-Rawal to offer the new in-service training program to teachers through schools. This new diploma will better equip the teachers in delivering life skills to children.

Prof. David Green, vice-chancellor, University of Worcester said, “We are delighted to be working with Swaroop Sampat-Rawal to deliver this important, innovative program, which will greatly enhance the professional skills of teachers, both in India and the UK, to enable children to develop crucial life skills. At the University, we have long championed an approach to education that combines modern scientific, professional expertise with the best in enduring human values. We believe character, as well as competence, really matters. Swaroop’s imaginative, dedicated development of vital education in life skills for children is inspirational and fits in perfectly with the University’s ethos and values. We are truly delighted that Swaroop is the very first person to earn a Double Doctorate at the University of Worcester, first for her excellent Ph.D. thesis and now for her Honorary Doctorate in recognition of her inspiring work over many years in inclusive education and life skills.”

Dr. Sampat-Rawal is an alumna of the University of Worcester, having studied for a Ph.D. in Education at Worcester. Her doctoral thesis was on the theme of using drama to enhance life skills in children with learning disabilities. Dr. Sampat-Rawal has devoted her life to educating young people in India and has dedicated herself to community development and advocacy, traveling across India training teachers, while also campaigning to get more children, such as those in tribal communities or street children, into the classroom.

On receiving the doctorate, Dr. Sampat-Rawal said, “It’s my proud privilege to receive the honorary doctorate and indeed an honor to be recognized for my work towards the cause of education and inclusion. When I proposed to teach life skills in the government primary school in my home state of Gujarat, its then-chief minister, and now India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, instantly agreed to my vision and plan. At that point, my focus was on dealing with mental health issues among students, a much neglected and even lesser understood aspect of their academic and social life. I have come a long way with the support of the state government, schools, and teachers, but a lot needs to be done.”

On the diploma, she went on, “I am very excited about this new diploma in Personal Social Education as it will impact the lives of teachers and students immensely. I am delighted to be working in partnership with the University to deliver this new Diploma. My work in India aligns perfectly with the ethos of the University of Worcester because it is based on inclusion and ensuring achievement for all, which is something about which the University of Worcester too is passionate. The University has a long history of excellent teacher training, so with who else would I want to work? This new Diploma in Personal Social Education will better equip teachers to deliver life skills that are much needed in today’s world to children. The Diploma builds on the University of Worcester’s long history of teacher training and its commitment to inclusion.”

Dr. Swaroop Sampat-Rawal is married to actor, director and politician, Paresh Rawal, and has two sons, Aniruddh and Aditya. She became successful with the hugely popular TV comedy show, “Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi,” in the mid-‘1980s. Dr. Sampat-Rawal also won the Miss India contest in 1979 and represented India at Miss Universe the same year. She had begun her film career with “Nakhuda” in 1981.

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