Rumour buster: Memes of Virat Kohli donating 50% of his IPL earnings to an old age home are false
Virat Kohli might be carrying a reputation as a hot-headed player on the field, but off it, India’s Test skipper is spreading smiles to a number of underprivileged people through various programmes conducted by his charitable foundation.
Prior to the clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL on April 22, Kohli took time out to visit the ‘Abhalmaya’ old-age home in Pune in an event organised by Maharashtra-based sports journalist Sundan Lele in partnership with Kohli’s charity foundation.
The facility, situated on Sinhagad Road in Pune, is run by Dr Aparna Deshmukh and takes care of senior citizens who have been abandoned by their families either due to lack of money or by will. Kohli, along with along with Amit Bhosle of ABIL Foundation, spent quality time with the more than 50 inmates housed at the centre, sharing their sorrows and spreading joy with his presence.
A meme has been doing the rounds on social media implicating that Kohli had donated 50% of his IPL earnings to this old age home, however, it is not true as the Indian Test captain only donated 50% of his earnings from one match – a noble gesture nonetheless.
A visibly moved Kohli ensured the immediate mobilisation of funds for the running of the facility which was under financial stress by donating 50 percent of his IPL match fees while he also promised Dr Deshmukh that the Virat Kohli foundation would be taking care of the running expenses of the old-age home for the remainder of 2016.
"It is very disturbing as well as eye opening to see people abandoning their own families. I cannot think of anything worst than to have been left by your own people at this age," he said, as reported by cricket.com.au. "It is so hard to digest, it is simply nothing if you compare it to a loss in a cricket game.”
Kohli revealed that he was pleasantly surprised by the positiveness exhibited by many of the inmates he talked to, despite their families turning their back on them at a time when they needed them the most.
“Some of them who I spoke to were is such great spirits and it is a wonderful lesson for me in life. Everyone praises us as cricketers but the support staff who are loving and caring that deserve credit in our society,” he said.
Kohli reserved special praise for Dr Aparna saying that the impact of her social work is much more than what even cricketers, who are revered as god-like in cricket-crazy India, can provide.
"Many say I make people happy when I score runs but this is nothing compared to what Dr Aparna is doing for these people," Kohli said.
Here’s a small video of Kohli’s visit to the ‘Abhalmaya’ old-age home: