LUCKNOW: Call it fate or irony, winner of several laurels for the country in the 2007 Shanghai Special Olympics, “special athlete” Hamid, is today forced to work as labourer to earn his livelihood. After Hamid won the gold in 4×100 metre relay in the 2007 Special Olympics, then chief minister Mayawati had invited him over tea at her official residence and had promised him job as well as financial assistance. But eight year since then, this ‘devyang’ olympian’s hands are as empty as ever with none of the promises fulfilled.
“Ever since his father died, I have been working to earn the livelihood of the family but because of advanced age I am also not in a position to do much work. Under these circumstances, Hamid is forced to work as a labourer to make ends meet,” his mother Hadikunisa told . Hamid’s coach Ejaz, who had accompanied him to Shanghai, said he was the lone athlete from India to take part in five different events. ”When his mother brought him to ‘Chetna’, an NGO working for the mentally challenged as a child, he started honing his talent,” Ejaz said, adding he is associated with Hamid since 2003.
With a little help this 30-year-old youth can do wonders, if he can get a permanent source of earning, his life will be on the right track, he said. Hamid, whose communication skills are not strong, says a lot through the bagful of 50 medals and certificates that he has won till now. ”Several of my colleagues are doing fine. I will also get the help,” says Hamid whose sportsman spirit is still alive and shining brightly. Hamid won the second spot in 2009 handball tournament in Mumbai and gold in relay and high jump in state level special games in Lucknow in November 2015. He was also among the probables picked up for the Los Angeles world special summer games last year.