Virat Kohli, a cricket maestro and former captain of the Indian national team, holds the title of the world’s highest-paid cricketer in 2023 with a net worth of $128 million. A stalwart for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, Kohli earns INR 7 Crore annually from BCCI and INR 15 Crores in the IPL.
His income extends beyond cricket, featuring lucrative endorsements with brands like Audi, Hero, MRF, and Puma, contributing to an annual Instagram income of $20 million. Beyond his cricketing prowess, Kohli, alongside wife Anushka Sharma, is an ardent philanthropist.
They founded the Virat Kohli Foundation in 2013, supporting aspiring athletes and spearheading Covid relief efforts in 2021. In 2023, the power couple launched SeVVA, a non-profit with a broad social impact agenda, embodying the essence of selfless service for the greater good, encompassing sports, animal welfare, and societal concerns.
Here is a detailed insight into the philanthropic activities and charities by Virat Kohli:
1. Virat Kohli Foundation (VKF)
The Virat Kohli Foundation (VKF) is a charitable organization founded by Virat Kohli, the former captain of the Indian men’s cricket team, in 2013. The main objectives of the foundation are to make India a sporting superpower and to support the underprivileged youth of the country. The foundation also cares about animal welfare and has partnered with Awaaz, a Mumbai-based NGO, to provide medical services, shelter, and food to stray animals.
Establishment and Mission
The VKF was established in 2013 by Virat Kohli, who wanted to use his fame and fortune to give back to society and help potential athletes achieve their dreams. The mission of the foundation is to create awareness, seek support, and raise funds for various causes that Virat endorses and engages in.
The foundation focuses on supporting athletes from different sports disciplines and providing educational and vocational opportunities to underprivileged youth. The foundation also supports animal welfare initiatives through its partnership with Awaaz, which works for the rescue, treatment, vaccination, and awareness of stray animals in Mumbai.
Thanks to dear Virat Kohli and Virat Kohli Foundation for uniting and honouring the sports fraternity at Indian Sports Honour Awards. pic.twitter.com/vADVEE25Qr— Yogeshwar Dutt (@DuttYogi) March 24, 2023
VKF’s Key Projects
The VKF has undertaken several programs and initiatives to fulfill its mission. Some of the key projects are:
- Athlete Development Program (ADP): This program awards scholarships to upcoming athletes from various sports, such as tennis, badminton, squash, golf, boxing, table tennis, track and field, and taekwondo. The program provides financial assistance, mentoring, training, and exposure to the athletes to help them reach the pinnacle in their respective sports. The program has supported more than 20 athletes so far, some of whom have represented India at international events.
- Educational Support: The foundation supports the education of underprivileged children through its partnerships with NGOs, such as Smile Foundation and Magic Bus. The foundation sponsors the children’s school fees, uniforms, books, and other expenses and organizes workshops, camps, and events to enhance their learning and development.
- Sports Scholarships: The foundation also provides sports scholarships to underprivileged children with a passion and talent for sports. The scholarships cover the costs of coaching, equipment, nutrition, and travel for the children and also help them balance their academics and sports.
- Animal Rescue: The foundation, in collaboration with Awaaz, rescues and treats injured and sick stray animals in Mumbai. The foundation also supports the vaccination, sterilization, and adoption of animals and raises awareness about their rights and welfare.
Fundraising and Donations
The VKF raises funds and donations for its projects and causes through various events and initiatives. Some of the notable ones are:
- Indian Sports Honours (ISH): This is an annual event that celebrates and honors the achievements of Indian sportspersons and also raises funds for the ADP. The VKF organizes the event in partnership with the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and features awards, performances, and auctions.
- Charity Dinner and Auction: This is another annual event that invites celebrities, corporates, and donors to support the foundation’s causes and projects. The event features a dinner, a speech by Virat, and an auction of memorabilia, experiences, and artworks.
- Personal Contributions: Virat and his wife Anushka Sharma, who is also a Bollywood actress and an animal lover, have made personal contributions to the foundation and its causes on several occasions. For example, they donated ₹2 crore to the PM CARES Fund for COVID-19 relief in 2020. They also adopted 15 stray dogs from Awaaz in 2021.
The foundation ensures transparency and accountability in its financial management and reports its income and expenditure on its website. The foundation also acknowledges and appreciates its donors and partners for their support and generosity.
2. #InThisTogether Campaign
The #InThisTogether campaign was launched in April 2021, during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, which caused a severe shortage of medical supplies, oxygen, and hospital beds. The campaign was a collaborative effort between actor-producer Anushka Sharma, her husband and cricketer Virat Kohli, and the non-governmental organization Ketto.
The aim of the campaign was to provide relief to individuals affected by the pandemic, especially the frontline workers and the marginalized communities. The campaign also sought to raise awareness about the importance of following COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and getting vaccinated.
The campaign used various methods to raise funds and awareness, such as:
- Creating a fundraiser page on Ketto, where people could donate any amount of money to support the cause. The initial target was to raise Rs. 7 crore, but the campaign surpassed that goal and raised over Rs. 11 crore in less than a week.
- Sharing videos and posts on social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, where Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli urged their fans and followers to join the campaign and contribute generously. They also thanked the donors and the partners for their support and solidarity.
- Collaborating with other organizations and individuals, such as ACT Grants, United Way of Bengaluru, Swasth, Feeding India, and Hemkunt Foundation, who helped in procuring and distributing medical equipment, oxygen concentrators, food, and other essential items to the needy. The campaign also received endorsements from celebrities, such as Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, and Sachin Tendulkar, who shared the campaign link and encouraged their fans to donate.
- Facing challenges and overcoming them, such as dealing with the logistical issues of transporting and delivering the relief materials, ensuring transparency and accountability of the funds, and coping with the emotional stress and trauma of witnessing the suffering of the people.
#ViratGang Is #InThisTogether 🤗— ViratGang (@ViratGang) May 7, 2021
We Have Joined Hands With Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma In Their Noble Movement & We Hope That Our Contribution Will Help Save Lives ❤️@imVkohli • @AnushkaSharma • #ViratGangCares pic.twitter.com/RsQBfoTloc
Campaign’s Success and Impact
The campaign was a huge success and had a positive impact on the lives of many people, such as:
- Raising a total amount of Rs. 11.39 crore, which was used to support various initiatives, such as providing 50,000 oxygen concentrators, setting up 10 oxygen plants, distributing 20,000 food kits, and supporting 2,000-bed facilities across the country.
- Reaching out to more than 1.5 lakh beneficiaries, who received timely and adequate medical care, food, and other assistance, thanks to the campaign’s efforts and partnerships.
- Received recognition and appreciation from various quarters, such as the media, the government, civil society, and the public, who praised the campaign for its noble cause, its effective execution, and its inspiring message. The campaign also won the Social Media Campaign of the Year award at the Indian Digital Marketing Awards 2021.
SeVVA is a newly launched non-profit organization by the power couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. The name SeVVA stands for “Se (of Self), V (of Virat), V (of Vamika), A (of Anushka). As Seva is always from self to self”. The couple said that SeVVA’s work “wouldn’t be confined to a particular issue” and that the NGO will strive for “social good by championing humanity which is the need of the hour today”. They also expressed their commitment to long-term impact and sustainable solutions for the society.
Initial Activities and Projects
SeVVA has decided to focus on three specific areas of concern that benefit society at large: sports, animal welfare, and education. Virat Kohli will continue to aid in the area of sports, by providing scholarships and sponsoring athletes. Anushka Sharma will work for animal welfare, by supporting shelters, rescue centers, and awareness campaigns. The couple will also work together to promote education, especially for the underprivileged and marginalized children.
Now the Virat Kohli Foundation and the Anushka Sharma Foundation will together be known as SeVVA.🤍 pic.twitter.com/BbT3MBi5q2— Akshat (@AkshatOM10) March 23, 2023
Some of the ongoing initiatives and projects of SeVVA are:
- Covid-19 relief fund: The couple raised Rs 11 crore during the Covid-19 pandemic by organizing a campaign and contributing Rs 2 crore themselves. The fund was used to provide oxygen, medical supplies, and food to the affected people.
- Animal adoption drive: The couple launched an animal adoption drive in collaboration with an NGO called World For All. The drive aimed to find loving homes for stray animals and encourage people to adopt rather than shop.
- Sports scholarships: The couple awarded sports scholarships to 100 talented young athletes from various disciplines. The scholarships covered their training, equipment, nutrition, and mentoring needs.
#COVID19 First Wave –— 82* (@WhiteDevil18_) May 7, 2021
• Virat Kohli & Anushka Donated a Disclosed Amount (Said To Be 3Crs)
• Virat's Restaurant pledged to Donate 30k meals for the needy
Etc Etc. #COVID19 Second Wave
• Started Working With NGO's
• Donated 2 CR & Initiated #InThisTogether
SeVVA has also announced its future plans for expansion and diversification. The couple said that they will be launching more initiatives and projects in the coming months, covering areas such as health, environment, women empowerment, and rural development.
Community Engagement and Transparency
SeVVA believes in involving the public in its work and creating a culture of giving and sharing. The couple said that they will be using their social media platforms and website to communicate with the people and update them about their activities and achievements. They also invited people to join them in their mission and contribute in whatever way they can.
SeVVA also values transparency and accountability in its operations and finances. The couple said that they will be publishing annual reports and audit statements on their website and social media. They also assured that every rupee donated to SeVVA will be used for the intended purpose and reach the beneficiaries.
Virat Kohli’s journey transcends the boundaries of cricket. He is a global icon who has leveraged his fame and fortune to become a powerful force for positive change. His dedication to philanthropy, through the Virat Kohli Foundation, SeVVA, and various individual initiatives, has touched countless lives and empowered communities.
Kohli’s unwavering commitment to social good serves as an inspiration to millions. He has demonstrated that success extends beyond personal achievements and encompasses the responsibility to uplift others and contribute to a better world. His story is a testament to the power of compassion, empathy, and action in creating a more just and equitable society.