New Delhi/August 23
Indian Sports ministry on Friday urged Punjab’s Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal to extend all possible help to the family of former Asian Gold medalist Makhan Singh, who was once feared even by legendry athlete Milkha Singh.
The Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Jitendra Singh today requested Badal to provide all possible assistance to the family of deceased Makhan Singh and said that although it is a state subject, Sports ministery has used his discretionary power to sanction an additional amount of Rs two lakhs over and above Rs 3 lakhs given earlier to widow of Makhan Singh from the National Welfare Fund for Sportsperson.
Makhan Singh won the Arjuna Award in 1964. He was also part of 4×400 gold medal winning team at 1962 Asian Games. He won 12 gold, three silver and one bronze medal at National Games. Makhan Singh had shown his athletic prowess when he beat the `Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh in the 1962 Kolkata National Games.
Needing finances, Makhan started driving a truck in Nagpur but unfortunately, he met with an accident and thereafter, lost a leg to gangrene. After the accident, Makhan Singh`s life was shattered to smithereens. In 1998, he even requested a politician to get a gas agency allotted to him but the man demanded a huge bribe from him.
Two of his sons, Inderpal Singh (14) and Gurwinder Singh (22), passed away following bouts of illness while the third one Parminder Singh (30) works as a sewadar in the Hoshiapur BDPO’s office at a pay of Rs 2,500.
Singh died in a state of abject penury in 2002 at the age of 64 and now his family who resides in at Bhatula village, 10 km from Hoshiarpur, is struggling to make the two ends meetPoverty lurks in the shadows in every room of Makhan Singh`s house.
His wife, Salinder Kaur, now wants to sell the Arjuna Award and other medals won by her husband, in order to keep household running.
New Delhi/August 23