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Vivek Oberoi, I salute you, says Naomi Watts

Updated: December 28, 2012, 3:37 PM IST
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Vivek Oberoi, I salute you, says Naomi Watts
Vivek had adopted a village named Thevanapattinam, and worked towards rehabililating the affected families.

Mumbai: Hollywood actress Naomi Watts is 'touched' by Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi's work for the rehabilitation of the tsunami-hit families in Tamil Nadu. She has even written a letter to him, appreciating his work.

In 2004, Vivek had adopted a Tamil Nadu village named Thevanapattinam, and worked towards rehabililating the affected families.

"Words really fail to express how touched I am to see the work you have done for the rehabilitation of the tsunami-hit families in Thevanapattinam, Tamil Nadu. It takes a lot of courage and immense devotion to be able to take up such a responsibility on one's shoulders," Watts wrote in the letter.

The actress, who plays the role of tsunami survivor in 'The Impossible', says it is hard for her to imagine the pain that the families had gone through during the 2004 calamity.

"While filming some of the scenes of 'The Impossible', I came close to realising the unimaginable grief and pain the families must have gone through in December 2004 when the tsunami hit their shores. I shudder to think about the void it must have created in the lives of people who faced personal losses," wrote Watts, whose role in the film is inspired by real-life tsunami survivor Maria Belon.

She admits that "enacting a woman's grief post the tsunami was extremely draining", and added: "I can only imagine how tough it must have been for people like Maria, who actually survived the devastation, to move forward."

Watts feels "celebrities can act as catalysts for change", but says "unfortunately few take any real measures".

"Your effort to bridge this gap deserves appreciation from all quarters. I salute you on behalf of the entire team of 'The Impossible' for adopting Thevanapattinam and providing relief work to the tsunami victims," she wrote to Vivek.

Vivek Oberoi believes that crimes against women can only stop when women start to sensitise the men in their family towards the opposite sex.

"Every mother should teach her son to respect every girl. That is where it (the change) will start. If he says something (wrong) about a girl, then she should slap him. Then we will learn," the 36-year-old said on the sidelines of an event here Thursday.

"I think women can protect women in the future, the greatest service by instilling in their children, brothers and husbands, the right values for women. Respect for women is not an option, it is a necessity," he added.

He was speaking in connection with the brutal gang-rape of a Delhi girl Dec 16, who is now fighting for life in a Singapore hospital. The case has led to a large number of protests countrywide demanding strict action.

Vivek is worried that public rage and excitement fizzles out too soon. So, he says the need of the hour is a channelised way of agitation.

"There is a larger issue at hand and, unfortunately, we Indians have a short-term memory problem. We get very excited, take out candlelight vigils and in the end we forget," Vivek said.

"Our steam blows off like those candles and we are not the same concerned, agitated citizen anymore. That is something which is sad. Everyone is angry but we need to channelise it and give it a structure to make it last long and get a tangible impact," he added.

First Published: December 28, 2012, 3:37 PM IST
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