New York, 25th October – Sana Mir received the Asia Game Changer Award in the 2019 Asia Society Awards ‘for excelling at one of the world’s most popular sports and inspiring millions of girls — on and off the field’.Mir was honored at the sixth annual Asia Game Changer Awards on Thursday, October 24th 2019, at Cipriani in New York City, where winners also delivered their enlightening speeches. The Asia Game Changer Awards were launched by the Asia Society in 2014. The aim for this initiative is to fill a vital gap, and honoring true leaders who are making a positive contribution to the future of Asia. These awards are bestowed annually to individuals, organizations, and movements that have inspired, enlightened, and shown true leadership in areas that reflect Asia Society’s core pillars of policy and business, arts and culture, and education. “In a country where many women still struggle for basic rights, Mir’s success has been a lodestar.,” Asia Society posted on their website. “Mir is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, working to change attitudes about women’s participation in the traditionally male-dominated sport of cricket — and beyond.” Sana Mir’s Statement: Greetings to all the honorable guests and participants. I would like to express my gratitude to the Asia Society for including me in this list of inspirational leaders. I would like to thank God for my family, mentors, friends, fans and the whole cricketing fraternity for their unconditional support. I would like to share with you the source of my own inspiration in wanting to be of service and striving for excellence. My dreams were created from a poem by our founding father and poet Allama Mohammad Iqbal, which we sang everyday in school: Lab pe aati hai dua ban k tamana meri, Zindagi shama ki surat hu Khudaya meri. This poem is the prayer of a child who wishes to become a source of light and service to all human beings and his/her motherland, who wishes to chase away the darkness with light and love. It was inspirational for me, not only because of the beauty of the thoughts and words but also because as a girl I felt included. The poem could be the words of a boy or a girl. Those whom the child wishes to serve include young and old, men and women. No one is left out. My prayer today is that we all look at the world through the same lens as the child in the poem. May the leaders of the present and future succeed in safeguarding the people around the globe irrespective of their gender, the colour of their skin, their faith or their ethnicity or their nationality. I would like to dedicate this award to three sets of people.
- The children who are denied opportunities and peaceful childhood in war torn countries. As I wonder how different my life would be if I was born in Kashmir rather than Pakistan.
- to all women in sports and other fields who are constantly striving to make pathways for themselves and ones to follow.
- the people who are standing up for climate change, who understand the value of nature and its healing power.