Vivek Oberoi has made to the Forbes Asian Heroes of Philanthropy list. At 34, the actor is the youngest and the only Bollywood actor to make the cut for his work in health, education and disaster relief.
“I’m humbled, I didn’t realise that someone was keeping track. I hope this will prod others into pushing for a cause they believe in,” says the actor who is in the elite company of Shiv Nadar (HCL Technologies), Azim Premji (Wipro) and Jackie Chan in that list.
The actor credits his parents, Suresh and Yashodhara Oberoi, and wife Priyanka for pushing him. “It started in 2002, after the release of Company. I spotted six-year-old Pooja and learnt from her father, the studio’s gatekeeper, that she had a hole in her heart. I donated my first salary then,” he says.
The actor also visited tsunami-struck villages in Tamil Nadu and rehabilitated over 3,000 families. His philanthropic activities also include Project Devi, Cancer Patients Aid Association and Banyan, which works towards rehabilitating mentally challenged homeless women. In all, Vivek has donated about $3 million (Rs 30 lakh) and helped raise $ 25 million (Rs 250 lakh).