Virat Kohli Foundation has joined hands with Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, which benefits approximately 4 lac children and their families, to support the cause of empowerment of underprivileged Children and Youth. As a first step towards this endeavor, Virat hosted a one-of-its-kind charity dinner at Hyatt Regency, Mumbai for 200 influencers and was joined by his colleagues Mahendra Singh Dhoni , Shikhar Dhawan , Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane ,KL Rahul to support the cause of children and youth empowerment . Other friends of Virat who joined the evening were Jehan and Miihier Singh . This uber luxury-experiential evening also had a five course Michelin starred dinner curated by Chef Vikas Khanna which included the likes of Akash Ambani , Gautam Singhania, Rana Kapoor, Nandita Mahtani, Archana Kochhar, Tara Sharma, Nikhil Chaturvedi, Mr. Digvijay Sinh Kathiwada to name a few .
Talking at the event Virat Kohli, Founder – Virat Kohli Foundation and Ace cricket said, “The soul behind this initiative is to raise awareness and support for the cause of education and skill training for the thousands of less privileged children and youth in India. I am glad to see the support that has come from all corners towards this initiative and this is just a humble beginning to spread smiles amongst the kids and youth. As a public personality, I realise that I have a huge responsibility on my shoulder to support causes that matter to the society the most and I am glad that my foundation – Virat Kohli Foundation has joined hands with Smile Foundation towards this endeavour .”
The fund raiser also witnessed an auction of few of the high end luxury products and cricket memorabilia close to the heart of star batsman and his cricket friends. The amount raised will help to support the empowerment of underprivileged Children and Youth. The auction was conducted by Malcolm Todywalla from Todywalla Auctions. The event was anchored by Ridhima Pathak and Karan Ambardar.
The evening also saw young talents from music Armaan Malik and Neeti Mohan mesmerize the guests with their performances, the kids from Smile Foundation couldn’t hold their excitement performing with Sandip Soparrkar. Nitish Bharti put together a beautiful sand art portraying the cause and Virat’s association with Smile Foundation. The evening was also joined by Invincible and Nitisha Nanda who performed at the event.
Vikas Khanna added his own flavours to the spread along with the chefs from Hyatt Regency Mumbai team and he has been advocating the cause of nutrition for a long time. He, himself, cooked and supervised the menu especially designed for the event. Chef Vikas Khanna, Global Ambassador for Smile Foundation’s Nutrition Campaign and 5 times Michelin starred Chef said , “ I have a family of 20500 kids with Smile Foundation who are no less that my own …and when I was asked to come forward and cook for this dinner there was an immediate yes though I was cooking almost after 20 years in India. I am happy that people from all walks of life have come forward to support us for this event and help us raise resources for the cause. I appreciate Virat Kohli and his friends who took out time to make this event a huge success and put smiles on many children’s faces.”
The event also witnessed Ms. Divya Khosla Kumar being announced as the Goodwill Ambassador of Smile Foundation to support its Mission Education initiatives and encourage talents in the field of music amongst the less privileged.
“Virat Kohli is one of the most loved youth icons of the day, embodying the hopes, aspirations and dreams of millions of young people across the country. We appreciate philanthropic values of Virat Kohli Foundation. To have him to support the cause of empowerment for children and youth strengthens our resolve to reach out to thousands of those unreached young people who are still struggling to come out of the vicious cycle of poverty and help them write their own destinies with the power of education.” Said Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation.
He further added, “Michelin starred Chef Vikas Khanna has been instrumental in taking the cause of nutrition to soaring heights. It is our pleasure to have committed individuals like Chef Vikas Khanna as our Global Ambassador for the cause of ‘Nutrition for Education’ campaign and his initiative to donate the auction proceeds of his first limited edition book to this cause which will help us benefit a lot of children.”
This event was also supported by Hyatt Regency Mumbai, Hyatt Thrive, Soie, Cornerstone Communications, Ravish Kapoor Innovative invitations, Business World, MSL Group , Khushi Advertising , Air France KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Montegrappa , Tissot Watches , Vertu and eminent artists like Anjolie Ela Menon , Seema Kohli, Suvigya Sharma and Babu Xavier .
Smile Foundation has been working intensively for the empowerment of children and youth through its education initiatives that provide them with quality education, skills training, proper nutrition, and relevant exposure and opportunities. With the two industry stalwarts Virat Kohli and Vikas Khanna joining this initiative, the movement will step in to the next phase of success. We look forward to many similar events moving ahead.