Saina Nehwal, ace shuttler and London Olympics bronze medalist, was awarded a doctorate degree by SRM University on Sunday. She received her doctorate in literature. The Chief Guest at this special event was U.S. Ambassador Evan Samuel Dobelle, former chief of Protocol and Assistant Secretary of State in the Jimmy Carter administration. This event saw a huge number of students getting their degrees. The number was close to 600. He said, “You are in a participatory democracy. You have to tune in your own passion and happiness to love and protect democracy.”
He also told the SRM graduates, “You are the symbol of your generation. You are the face of India. Economically the country is growing so fast and you are the global supplier of manpower and woman power. The United States has the highest regard for India. You are pioneers in every area, and you don’t have to go to Russia or the United States. They come here. Look around you today. You are the best and the brightest generation of the world.”
She also gave an acceptance speech. She said, “I am very honored to receive this honorary doctorate. My father will be very proud of me today because he is a scientist, and he always wanted me to be a doctor. My mom wanted me to be an Olympian.”
She also said that parents should support their children in sports if their passion lies there. This is the only way India can do well in sports. Indian needs good sportsperson. There is also an important need to build a proper sports centre for the students. And more and number of coaches need to be appointed. She also advised the graduates that they should indulge themselves in physical activity of 30 minutes every day.
She was awarded the degree along with former Chairman of the Law Commission, Justice A R Lakshmanan. The degree was awarded to them by former Assistant Secretary in the United States Federal government and higher education administrator Evan Samuel Dobelle.
Lakshmanan also gave an acceptance speech. He said, “”We need to generate awareness on that, for an organ harvested from a dead person can ‘give’ life to many others. And, this is the best way to leave behind one’s legacy after death.”
He further added, “Armed with a degree they were stepping into life which has a lot of things in store for them. The nation is witnessing a lot of change which is for better, amidst this scenario, there is a need for young minds who can think innovatively and take up the responsibility of this treading this nation to the peak of development.”