Vivek Oberoi inspired guests at an event in support of Sewa Day.
The event sponsored by Sun Mark Ltd in association with Sterling Media aimed to raise awareness for Sewa Day, an initiative to remind people that charitable giving is not always about donating money, it is also about donating time.
Acclaimed film directer Gurinder Chadha OBE also hosted a Q & A with the star.
Last year, four years from inception Sewa Day projects were being held in 25 countries with over 250 projects and a staggering 75000 people taking part.
Dixit Joshi, Reena Ranger, Vivek Oberoi, Ganguly, Manoj Ladwa
Reena Ranger, Chairwoman & Founder of Women Empowered (WE) said, “The satisfaction and humility of doing good is reward enough with the added benefit of benefiting others –we make a living by what we get but a life by what we give.
"We must encourage philanthropy amongst ourselves; the world is a large place and it may seem like we cannot change it but if we each strive to make a change for one person then together we would have made a great difference.
"People such as Mr Oberoi, who have dedicated so much of their time towards helping those less fortunate, are a source of great inspiration to all of us.”
Reena Ranger, Manoj Ladwa, Arup Ganguly, Vivek Oberoi, Gurinder Chadha OBE, Vikas Pota
She said she was delighted to have had the honour of introducing Sewa Day’s newest ambassador and that Mr Oberoi was able to use Women Empowered as the platform to share his experience with others.
Manoj Ladwa, Founder and CEO of the MLS Chase Group and Sewa Day trustee said: “Sewa is that special thing that will never come back to us once given. Vivek Oberoi, by pledging to be an ambassador further enforced his mission to support the cause.
"Sewa Day does not choose social activities, it is your choice and could be as simple as speaking for a little time with someone who was lonely.”
Arup Ganguly, Chairman of Sewa Day added: "We are honoured and delighted to announce that Vivek Oberoi is going to serve as an Ambassador to Sewa Day.
Yalda Hakim, Monty Panesar, Manoj Ladwa, Reena Ranger, Vivek Oberoi, Muttiahtiah Muralitharan, Natasha Mudhar, Arup Ganguly, Harmeet Ahuja
"Through his public profile and activism, we hope that many others join hands with us on Sewa Day this year on 5th October, all over the world. On behalf of Sewa Day, I would also like to add my thanks to Reena Ranger & Women Empowered for their continued championing of our cause."
Speaking of his own experiences and what awakened him to selflessly engage in sewa, Vivek said: “I was going through a difficult point in my life, then one day my mum said I should come with her to the memorial hospital and I saw children dealing with cancer and my problems seemed ridiculous and so small in comparison.
"That kick-started my journey and I realised there was so much to do in life.”
“I try to reach out and tell people that this (Sewa) is incredible. I think Sewa Day is a great platform and that it should be a celebration of humanity. It’s the most satisfying feeling. Let Sewa Day on October 5th be the beginning.”
An integral part of the event involved a question-and-answer session hosted by the celebrated film-maker Gurinder Chadha OBE.
She posed questions such as whether he felt his fame hindered or helped his charity work and his thoughts on how the inequalities in India would be addressed by the newly elected Indian Government.
When asked on his views about charitable work being done in India, he touched upon some of his concerns saying that he felt that every religion had the concept of Sewa so deeply embedded in their culture, but unfortunately charity work had become a fashion of sorts and for those actually doing charitable work genuinely, they were becoming detraced from their work.
Event sponsor Harmeet Ahuja, CEO of Sun Mark Ltd said “At the core of our philanthropic values is the belief that we should do all that we can to help those who are less privileged in order to change lives and lift communities out of poverty.
"This is something we are constantly striving to achieve, and so as a result of this we are honoured to have partnered with the organisers of today’s event.”
Natasha Mudhar, CEO & MD of Sterling Media said, “It was very moving to hear first-hand how Mr Oberoi’s efforts have helped to rebuild lives. His unfettered commitment to ‘selfless giving’ coupled with his superstar appeal is testament to the fact that high profile individuals can influence for the betterment of society.
"We were delighted to support Women Empowered and Sewa Day for this momentous occasion. The work of these two organisations is inspiration for all.”