He has nurtured his relationship with Tamil Nadu with all gentleness as he has slowly made his way into the hearts of children who have found a dignified life at Love Care Centre, an orphanage that supports education, shelter, food, clothing , medical needs of orphans and destitute children.
Talking to DC, Bruce goes back to the turning point of his life, his journey of his association with the kids residing there. “It was one of the employees who invited me to pay a visit to the kids over there. When I met the kids, it just got into my heart and soon it became a big part of my life. I was moved by her commitment.”
Bruce has a great time and finds life worth living for as he visits the kids on occasions like Deepavali with candies, milkshake, biscuits, toys and lots of crackers and this year was even more special as Bruce turned up with a giant lollypop.
“This is one day these kids look forward to every year. It’s a big thing for them to be able to hold the sparklers…. and to see the wonder on their faces when that big rocket goes off and showers the sky with gold, green and purple sparkles … ah, that look on their faces!”, Bruce exclaims with happiness.
Not just Diwali, Bruce and kids are inseparable on other happy days like Christmas.
“About 40-50 kids come and stay at my place. We have dinner, cut cake , play music, wake up the next morning and go to marina beach and have breakfast.” Bruce gifts them new clothes too.
Love care centre provides education to the children and has founded two schools for downtrodden kids. What started with two kids now boasts of over 150 kids and the centre has two schools, both in Kanchipuram. Grace Carmel Matriculation school has only till class 8 after which kids go to Venketeshwara Matriculation which has till class 12 and Bruce helps them with their education and medical expenses.
Talking about his aspirations for the kids and their struggle for existence, Bruce points to one of the fundamentals of life. “Some of these children are going on to become flight attendants, getting into the hotel and hospitality industry, becoming healthcare workers, many of them are nurses. It’s an incredible thing. What breaks the cycle of poverty and hopelessness is education. Some people say that I am doing a nice thing, but the truth is I’m doing what makes me feel good.”
Bruce’s connection with Tamil Nadu was meant to be. “It was in 2009 my sister asked me to participate in Nat Geo’s mapping the genome. I had my DNA analysed. I did not even look at the results initially. It was my sister who urged me to as in her words ‘I would be flabbergasted and amazed’. I immediately checked it and found out that I am a member of a tribe that immigrated out of Africa some 30,000 years ago and settled in Tamil Nadu.”
If you happen to have watched Bigil, Bruce is involved with the film too.
Towards the end when the Tamil Nadu women’s football team is announced the winner, it is Bruce who has done the announcer’s voiceover....