It was all going as per the “plan” back in 2006 when the Muzaffarnagar-based Kumar won a 50m rifle prone bronze at the Asian Championships in Kuwait City.
Life took an ugly turn as he got robbed on a train from Delhi to Mhow, home to the Army Marksmanship Unit which has produced an Olympic medalist in Vijay Kumar.
In an interview given to The Indian Express, Amit said:
“All my equipment was stolen except my rifle. It was worth around Rs 2.5 lakh at that time. I was most worried about what I would say at the Army Unit in Mhow. I feared an inquiry so I somehow arranged money to replace the stolen equipment and submitted back to the Unit,”
Then came the shoulder injury in 2008. He could not feel a thing in his left hand and lack of play meant he was out of his second home – the Army Marksman Unit.
For the next eight years, he was a normal soldier who served in Mumbai, Jaipur, and the punishing Siachen Glacier. “We were paid Rs 15,000 extra (besides the usual salary) for our time at Siachen.
I vividly remember my post was very close to a Pakistani post. We were at a higher altitude than the Pakistanis, so we were better placed. The weather was unforgiving but it was relatively peaceful. We even used to talk to the Pakistani soldiers.
Things started to fall into place as he was picked to compete at an event organized by the UN Mission in Congo. He did well there, paving his return to the Marksmanship Unit in 2016. He also won the National title that year. But soon he realized that he was not good enough for the 50m prone event and shifted to the big bore event.
Even the 6.5 lakh rifle that he has brought to Palembang, is his own. “My brother and I used our savings on buying the rifle. I wouldn’t be here if it was not for him,” Kumar said of his brother, who is also a soldier.