The distinctive playing style of Amir Hussain Lone is an inspiration to many. He uses his legs to bowl, and shoulder and neck to bat.
Despite losing his arms in a freak mishap at his father’s mill when he was eight years old, he never lost the will to play his favourite sport.
Seeing his passion and drive to bowl and bat, his teacher introduced him to para-cricket. The 34-year-old from Jammu and Kashmir has now been playing professional cricket since 2013.
When Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani applauded his extraordinary skills, Lone was elated that his struggles were finally recognised. Adani wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “We salute your courage, dedication to the game and the spirit of never giving up, even in adverse circumstances. @AdaniFoundation will contact you soon and provide you with every possible support in this unique journey. Your struggle is an inspiration for all of us.”
Sports can be a powerful tool for economic and social development. Corporates can play a proactive role in helping build an enabling environment for sports.
India has immense potential and talent, and there are government initiatives that promote sports across the country. However, lack of infrastructure, opportunities and resources hinder the growth of talented sportspersons.
Together with the help of government incentives, the private sector can provide a much-needed boost to nurture talents like archer Neeraj Chauhan, who can bring laurels to the nation on global platforms.
In the last few years, India has seen increased private sector participation in the development of sports. The record 107-medal win by the Indian squad at the 19th Asian Games in 2023 focused the spotlight on India’s progress.
Much of the credit goes to India Inc as many winners were backed by giant corporates like Reliance, Adani, Tata and Jindal.
The Adani Group, whose vision always aligns with that of India, believes the country can realise its potential in sports and produce world-class athletes with concerted efforts.
Committed to supporting sportspersons as they go all out to bring glory to India, Adani announced support for chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa early this month.
"We are extremely proud to support the dynamic Praggnanandhaa. The speed and efficiency with which he has progressed in the sport is nothing short of remarkable, and truly an example to all Indians. There is nothing more noble than representing the nation and winning laurels at the highest levels, and the Adani Group is wholeheartedly devoted to supporting athletes in this journey,” Adani said after meeting the young chess ace.
The 18-year-old secured the top ranking in India after defeating World champion Ding Liren, with black pieces at the 2024 Tata Steel Chess tournament, surpassing Viswanathan Anand in the process.
Praggnanandhaa began playing at the age of five and became India’s youngest and the then world’s second youngest Grandmaster at the age of 12 in 2018.
He is now the fifth-youngest person ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster after Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov. Incidentally, his elder sister R Vaishali is also a Grandmaster, which make the siblings the world’s first ever brother-sister Grandmaster duo.
Praggnanandhaa became the world's youngest chess player to reach the World Cup final in 2023, the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to achieve the feat. He defeated Magnus Carlsen multiple times in 2022. The Chennai-based chess player also won the silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2023.
Through its flagship #GarvHai initiative, run by the Adani Group’s sports arm Adani Sportsline, the Group aims at nurturing and empowering talented athletes from underprivileged backgrounds.
It has supported 28 players across sports such as boxing, wrestling, tennis, javelin throw, shooting, running, shotput, brisk walking, and archery.
Among those who benefited are Commonwealth Games gold medalist wrestlers Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Deepak Punia and boxer Amit Panghal. Dahiya and Punia also secured silver medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 2020 and the 2023 Asian Games.
Currently, both wrestlers are in the pursuit of securing their places in next year’s Paris Olympics.
#GarvHai is Adani Group's nationwide programme that aims to develop India's next generation of sporting champions and support them on their journey to represent India at national and international platforms such as the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Olympics.
The project began accepting applications from athletes, coaches, sports academies, and others across multiple sports in 2016.
Since the 2016 Rio Olympics, the initiative has assisted over 28 talented competitors in sports such as boxing, wrestling, tennis, javelin throw, shooting, running, shotput, brisk walking, archery, and more.
Six of the 19 athletes supported under #GarvHai represented India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. These include wrestlers Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Deepak Punia, boxer Amit Panghal and Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal among others. Ravi Dahiya, supported by the Adani Group since 2019, secured a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 57 kg category.
Adani Sportsline has partnered with the Indian team for the Commonwealth Games 2022, 2023 Asian Games and the 2024 Paris Olympics as the principal sponsor.
The initiative's athletes including wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya, wrestler Deepak Punia and boxer Amit Panghal, secured three gold medals for the country during the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!