‘These houses can’t build themselves’




To learn more, visit habitatyouthbuild.org.


By Omi Vaidya, Habitat for Humanity India Youth BUILD ambassador and Indian-American actor and filmmaker

I grew up in the United States, only visiting my native home country of India for holidays. I studied acting and filmmaking in California and New York and had small roles in Arrested Development and The Office, before appearing as Chatur Ramalingam in Bollywood’s 3 Idiots, a film that made me a household name in my home country. I currently live in Los Angeles and Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital and most populous city.

Once I realized how much I had been given because of where I was born and how I was raised, I wanted to help others who aren’t as lucky as me.

The housing situation for low-income families in India is very sad. People live in inadequate houses; some of these homes are illegal and could be removed at a moment’s notice. Many houses cannot withstand a natural disaster. This is not acceptable. This is why I support Habitat for Humanity — to help people have decent and safe homes.

Home is a place where I feel safe and relaxed. It is a place I can call my own and where my family can join me. A home is where memories are made and a place you can always go back to when things are uncertain.

Without a home, the world is a scary and unwelcoming place. A home is the one place in your life where can you feel safe, the one place where you are never a stranger. That is very important to having a happy life.

I am supporting Habitat Youth BUILD, as it is not only building houses, but building the leaders of tomorrow. Youth BUILD is playing a part in shaping the leaders of tomorrow by ensuring they think of others who are not as lucky as they are.

In the run up to Youth BUILD on May 12, I will be using my social networks to spread news of the event and trying to inspire my friends and fans to get involved. These houses can’t build themselves. We need to build them and the future we want to live in.