Joy of helping poor bigger than any award: Vivek Oberoi
In a film career spanning a decade, Vivek Oberoi has essayed diverse roles and tasted both successes and failures on the big screen, but he says the joy of social work and supporting charitable causes for others' happiness is far more fulfilling an award or reward for him.
"Acting in movies is my passion, but the kind of human satisfaction and meaningfulness that comes into my life by helping others, wiping away tears and trying to bring a smile to someone else's face is exceptional...that joy is more fulfilling that any award or reward I have ever got," the 37-year-old told IANS in an interview.
Over the years, Vivek has involved himself in several philanthropic causes, leveraging his celebrity status for social uplift, a la Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan.
Vivek helped rebuild a village, which was hit severely by the 2004 tsunami in Tamil Nadu. In fact, he was in Chennai when the disaster struck and he assembled six truckloads of relief supplies. Later, he also adopted a tsunami-ravaged village in the state's Cuddalore district.
The actor also runs a school at Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. Named Project Devi, the facility caters to underprivileged girls abandoned by their families. He often goes there to check on their progress.
Son of veteran actor Suresh Oberoi, Vivek thanks his family for sensitizing him to the idea of "helping others" and supporting charity.
"My family has always been associated with social cause. My mother has worked for over three decades for cancer patients. My father has always been inclined towards education of slum children.
"So, I was inspired by these initiatives of my parents. I think that's the culture at home that I imbibed and with their blessing, I am taking it to the next level," he said.
The actor recently added another feather to his cap by lending a helping hand to S.H.E. - Support Her Education - a campaign launched by beauty brand The Body Shop.
The campaign, also backed by Food for Life Vrindavan (FFLV), aims to educate 100 girls in need, and a part of the sales proceeds from The Body Shop products will contribute towards it.
Vivek, who is father to a 13-month-old boy, believes "it's a great idea".
"I feel that women want to do a lot of stuff for the empowerment and development of underprivileged women, but they don't find the right channel and opportunities. So this association brings the best of that," he said.
Vivek made his Bollywood debut with Ram Gopal Varma's "Company" in 2002, which went on to earn rave reviews for him. He also impressed everyone as a lover boy in "Saathiya".
Since then, he has tried to maintain his variety with movies like "Shootout At Lokhandwala", "Omkara", "Kurbaan" and "Grand Masti". His portrayal as a villain in "Krrish 3" won him a lot of appreciation.
One wonders if he is looking forward to more such negative roles.
But Vivek retorted: "I don't look at film roles as negative and positive. I look at roles as exciting or boring."
"If a role excites me, I will do it...no matter if it is positive, negative or neutral," said the actor, who now wants to focus more on Vivaan Veer Oberoi, his baby with wife Priyanka Alva.
"I want to spend quality time with my family and son who barely got time to spend with me last year because of my heavy schedule," he added.
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 11-03-2014)