Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has added another feather to his decorated cap, but this time off the field, as he was named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Person of the Year for 2019. In doing so, Kohli has joined the ranks of his wife Anushka Sharma, Bollywood actress Sunny Leone, comedian Kapil Sharma who all have been former recipients of the award.
Kohli, who turned vegan last year, has relentlessly worked towards the welfare of animals. He had also sent a letter on PETA India’s behalf for the release of elephant Malti from the Amer Fort after coming to know of the violet treatment she had received by eight men.
The iconic cricketer also helped PETA update the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 in order to prevent acts of violence towards animals while asking for stronger penalties to be levied against animal abusers.
The 31-year-old also went to an animal shelter to spend time with injured and neglected dogs, with the aim being to send a message across the community to adopt animals and not buy them from pet stores.
“Virat Kohli is a fierce animal rights proponent who never hesitates to run out cruelty to animals any way he can,” said PETA India Director of Celebrity and Public Relations Sachin Bangera. “PETA India encourages everyone to follow his lead and always be an advocate for animals in need.”
Other than Kohli, Anushka, Leone, Kapil, the likes of Sonam Kapoor, Hema Malini, R Madhavan and Jacqueline Fernandez have also won the award.