A RENOWNED Bollywood actress who graduated from the University of Worcester a decade ago returned to the city to give a talk on her efforts to improve education in India.
Since graduating with a PhD in education, Dr Swaroop Sampat travelled across India training teachers and campaigning to get more children, such as those in tribal communities or on the street, into the classroom.
Swaroop serves on the Central Advisory Board of Education, the highest education board in India, and the Save the Children International Governing Council.
She recently returned to Worcester to give education professionals the benefit of her experiences educating people in isolated and rural communities in India, at the University’s Bridging the Global Education Gap conference.
As well as being a Bollywood star, Swaroop was also crowned Miss India in 1979.
“What I teach in my teacher training is what I learnt in Worcester,” said Swaroop.
“So it’s as if I’m giving back to the world what I received from here, and I’ve received a lot. I strongly believe what I am today is because of the University of Worcester.
“What I’ve realised is that motivation and self-esteem are very important for specific learning difficulties, as children may be able to meet the challenge only if they believe they can do it.
“I teach children communication skills, as well as raise their self-esteem, empower them to be able to study or to stand up for themselves and to speak for themselves.
“Now I’m known, not only in India, but even in other places. This only happened because of Worcester and the people I met and how they made my experience so positive,” she added.