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The Forgotten Hero Arif Richard: A Cricketer Then, A Sweeper Now

In a country where everyone loves cricket, it is saddening that we only care about our players when they are on the field. Arif Richard was the opening batsman of the disabled cricket team of Pakistan in the Asia Cup as well as in countless matches against England, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and India. Arif’s financial situation has gotten to the point where he is no longer able to feed his family on a daily basis. But regardless of who he was and what his reputation expected of him, he took up the job of a sweeper to feed his children.

Arif Richard, disabled Pakistani cricketer

Arif Richard was part of Pakistan’s disabled cricket team / via Dunya News

Surviving On Less Than 150 Rupees A Day

Arif Richard now sweeps the streets of Karachi and makes 150 rupees on a good day, on others barely half of that. You tell us this, does a hero like him deserves to live like this simply because of his disability? We overlook those who need us the most after they have left the spotlight. Arif is a man who made our country proud on more than one occasion on the international level and now he has to clean up after other people so his children don’t go to sleep on an empty stomach.

Arif says that given the chance, he would make Pakistan proud again. But since he and his companions have not been given a job or a fixed salary by the government, they are forced to do jobs such as these.

Shahid Afridi Comes To Arif Richard’s Aid

Shahid Afridi Comes To Arif Richard’s Aid

via Shahid Afridi Foundation

After this news came into light, Shahid Afridi vowed to take action and help Arif Richard. Shahid Afridi has expressed his deep disappointment over the situation that Arif is currently in. Afridi promises to personally help Arif Richard by inviting him to his academy where he will offer him the job of a coach. We agree with Shahid Afridi when he says that no naturally talented person should ever have to live like this. The blame for Mr. Arif’s situation lies on the government. The government offers no solace to a man with a disability, it offers no shade. It is the government’s indifference that forced Arif Richard to pick up the broom and earn whatever little he can.

“Until I see better days again”, he tells himself, “Until I make Pakistan proud again.”

Never once thinking that Pakistan has failed him.

No nation deserves to progress if it does not value its heroes. The sooner we understand it the better. May we learn something from Arif Richard’s story and start treating our heroes better.

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