Actor Anushka Sharma and Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, who became parents to daughter Vamika in January, are true-blue animal lovers. Anushka, who has always spoken up for animal safety and advocates animal rights, has always harboured a dream to open an animal shelter, a safe haven for strays. In fact, a few days ago, a source close to the actor had told indianexpress.com about how Anushka is working towards opening an animal shelter in the outskirts of Mumbai.
However, on the occasion of World Stray Animals’ Day today, Virat Kohli, who has been thoroughly inspired by his wife’s passion for animals, is now actively looking for opportunities to help stray animals. Through the Virat Kohli Foundation, the Indian batsman has now set up an animal welfare project in Mumbai. He has collaborated with Vivaldis Animal Health, a leading Indian animal healthcare company founded by Kunal Khanna, a London Business School alumnus, and with Awaaz Voice of Stray Animals — a local NGO in Mumbai to set-up two animal shelters in the maximum city.
To ensure health & support to stray animals, @vkfofficial has now taken its first step towards animal welfare in collaboration with Vivaldis. I want to thank my wife @AnushkaSharma for inspiring me by her passion towards animals & for being a constant advocate for animal rights. https://t.co/OWWL6z33W0
Virat Kohli, who is quite excited about this passion project, said in a statement, “Looking after the welfare of animals is a cause very close to my heart now as Anushka is very passionate about this issue. Her vision to help stray animals across India is truly inspiring for me and since I have met her, I have tried to understand more about animal rights and the urgent need for medical assistance for strays. It is our dream to create a safer space for the stray animals of our city and I’m happy to be taking on this project with Vivaldis and Awaaz, and working with likeminded people to create some facilities to help these animals.”
The two animal shelters will be set-up in Malad and Boisar respectively. The shelter in Malad will be a temporary rehabilitation centre, where animals — mainly dogs and cats, will be admitted for a temporary period until the animal recovers. The centre will provide medical assistance to wounded and injured animals.
The centre in Boisar will be a permanent shelter, which will keep animals who are blind, paralyzed and are suffering from life long diseases or old age.
For this passion project, Virat will sponsor ambulances, while Vivaldis Animal Health will complement their healthcare needs. The Virat Kohli Foundation so far has primarily focused on supporting aspiring athletes from all over India. The Indian skipper is now also using his current associations and partnerships to create infrastructure and make resources available to those in need. VKF will soon also set up education and healthcare projects as well.