Kannada film actress Jayamala created history of sorts when she became the only actress in the Indian film industry to be conferred a doctorate for her thesis on the rehabilitation of rural woman in Karnataka.
The actress who created an uproar recently after she 'admitted' that she had touched the Lord Aiyappa idol in Shabarimala, was among 177 students and academicians awarded by the Bangalore University
The thesis required her to tour many places in Karantaka and also scrutinise many documents. The doctorate was conferred by the Bangalore University on January 18 and presented by former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.
Happy that her hard work has been rewarded, Jayamala, however says that she would be happier if remedial measures are taken and rehabilitation programme for women in Karnataka gets a strong focus.
"I found to my dismay that many women who really deserved rehabilitation and were assured of help were not given adequate support. I only hope my thesis will create right awareness among the people," the actress said.
Jayamala is a multifaceted personality in the Kannada film industry having been a leading lady in the eighties and later turned producer making many award-winning artistic films.
Her first production venture Thaayi Saaheba directed by Girish Kasaravalli won a National award and Jayamala a special jury award for her brilliant performance in the film.
She has also produced a children's film Thuttoori which won both National and State Government awards. A treasurer in the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, the actress has taken active interest in many activities of the Kannada film producers association.
There are many Kannada film artists who have received honorary doctorate for their contribution to the Kannada film industry. Among them are late Dr Raj Kumar, Dr Vishnuvardhan and Padmashree B Saroja Devi.