Vivek Oberoi has just wrapped up a hectic schedule of Ram Gopal Varma’s Hindi-Telugu bilingual, Rakta Charitra. And he is preparing to fly down to his school in Vrindavan that not only educates 1,500 girls from families below the poverty line, but even offers them free meals.
"We have also set up filteration plants in the villages so these children don’t have to walk miles for a pot of undrinkable water," informs the actor, who hopes that the number of students will double by next year.
Oberoi, who was in Colombo for the IIFA gala earlier this month, is also building a school there for the children of ex-LTTE combatants. He saw 70-odd children, whose little village near the front line had been completely destroyed in the civil war, studying under a mango tree. And decided to give them a school.
The star has been actively canvassing for corporate support since and has managed to bring the UNICEF on board. “The school will stand for hope and peace, it will be a window to the future for these children,” he says, adding that he hopes to have the first phase catering to 300-odd children, operational by the year-end. Eventually, the school will benefit around 1,000 students.
The actor was present at a mass wedding of Tamil rebels. Fifty-three couples were issued marriage certificates in the northern district of Vavuniya, where they are in military custody following the defeat of the Tamil Tiger separatist movement in May last year.Oberoi was a witness for one of the couples, and says that for Viktalis and Rathi Devi, legalising their union after three years was a dream come true. “The bride had tears in her eyes as she told me that earlier, combatants were not allowed to marry and peace was only a dream,” informs Oberoi. When he asked her what was the first thing she’d do now, she blushed and blurted out, “Have babies.” Maybe her babies will go to his school too.