Everyone of us feels incapacitated to move forward at a point in our lives. We think that our problems are somehow more than we can handle. But, the story of Amir Hussain Lone, a young man of 26, will change your perceptions forever.
Amir suffered a heart-wrenching accident at the tender age of eight, where both his arms got entangled in a machine at his father’s sawmill and were completely severed. Ever since then, Amir’s life has been one setback after another. He had to spend three years in the hospital before he could finally return home. By then, his father had to sell everything to pay the piling medical bills. Amir’s schooling from then on wasn’t easy, at all. Since his school did not have provisions for someone like Amir, his teachers frequently sent him back from school. Despite the difficulties, his family stood by him and encouraged him to continue his education.
Amir, as an adolescent, was a huge cricket buff – but unfortunately was never welcome to watch matches on television. His neighbours used to chase him away, or he was asked to leave the room. Yet, he used to watch India win one match after another, through the cracks in the window pane. That’s how he came to realize that cricket was his life’s passion. Once the life of the house – Amir was now subjected to a lot of stigma from the people around him. Friends, relatives, neighbours laughed at him for dreaming of being a cricketer. Amir’s father, too, faced a lot of heat and was once even advised to not waste money on Amir’s medical treatment, and end his life out of mercy. But he did not give in to the pressure, and continued to encourage his son to beat all odds.
Inspired by Sachin Tendulkar himself, Amir worked hard on his game and learnt how to hold a bat between his neck and shoulders. But that was the easy part – the hard part came when he had to master bowling without hands. This too was taken up as a challenge by Amir – and with some difficulty, he learnt to deliver the ball with his feet. Amir also mastered a spinning technique, using his toes in the process. It was much later in his college years that it occurred to him to try out for the state para-cricket team, upon the suggestion of a professor. But the real milestone of Amir’s life came when he was declared as the Captain of the Jammu and Kashmir State Para-Cricket Team. The day, in Amir’s own words, can be described as “the happiest day of his life.”
When asked about his life, Amir says, “I have had to face a lot of struggle, but I never gave up my dream to play for the National Team.” This tough resolve is what sets Amir apart. “Even now, I face a lot of difficulties. I do not have proper equipment to continue my training. My state cricket team could not hire a coach, I have been teaching the players myself”, says Amir.
The achievements may be many, but the problems haven’t disappeared. Despite being a well known face in the Indian Para-Cricket circuit, and winning admiration in various tournaments across the nation in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow – Amir faces severe financial stress. He cannot provide for his nutritional needs, let alone the ‘special care’ that he requires, and the training equipment along with the transportation needed to aid his training. Presently, Amir cannot even meet his nutritional needs for sustenance – the lack of which can prove to be dangerous.
“Amir ki Udaan” is an initiative undertaken along with Desired Wings, which intends to aid Amir financially and help him in hiring a professional coach, who can make him achieve the desirable level in fitness and training needed for a national level player. The fund raised will help him acquire professional training equipment, special care and assistance in his day to day life. Amir has a passion for cricket which is hard to come by and he deserves every right to be able to pursue it – and if funds are not raised, then he may have to give up his training even though the passion for cricket will always stay alive in his heart. Frankly, we cannot let that happen, as it would be a tremendous waste of talent!
Amir Hussain is an example of exemplary determination and talent for cricket in our nation, who is now struggling to stay financially afloat. “A cricketer with no arms, it’s a first for everyone”, says Amir – who has decided to ask all the cricket lovers in the country to help him support his dream of playing cricket for India.