India’s cricket star Virat Kohli was on Saturday unveiled in New Delhi as a new global ambassador for ICC’s partnership with Room to Read, an international not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote literacy and gender equality in education.
He joins fellow leading international stars Shane Watson of Australia and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews in promoting the partnership that was first launched at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The 23-year-old will star in a book which will be published and released ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 by Room to Read. This book featuring Virat Kohli will be distributed across thousands of government schools in the country.
Providing engaging, vibrant, child-friendly local language literature is an excellent tool towards helping first generation learners develop an interest in reading from an early age. By publishing a book on Virat, it is hoped that Room to Read will be able to bring together the joy of reading and the passion for cricket on a common platform for many young children across India.
Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organisations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education.
Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than six million children in Asia and Africa, and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. In India itself, Room to Read has reached out to more than 1.3 million children.
Kohli, who was involved in a number of promotional activities for the partnership during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, will now make a number of appearances on behalf of Room to Read during the course of the year.
Kohli said: “I am excited about the opportunity to support the partnership between ICC and Room to Read to encourage children to read. I really enjoyed meeting children who have benefited from the work of Room to Read, during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and seeing the impact the organisation had achieved in inspiring young people to learn. I am looking forward to working with Room to Read on the development of a book for children which will be published in Hindi and Telugu and will be given to children across India in the build-up to the ICC World Twenty20.”
Sunisha Ahuja, Country Director in India for Room to Read, said: “Room to Read is honoured to have Virat Kohli, an outstanding and world-renowned cricket player as our friend. As an ambassador of our partnership with the ICC, he is in a unique position to highlight the importance of literacy and gender equality in education and draw attention to the immense challenges that children in India have to face in accessing their right to quality education. His interactions with children always inspire them to pursue their education with enthusiasm. He helps them dream big and realise that education can truly make great things possible."