Milkha Singh had fled from Pakistan at the time of partition of India, parents and siblings were killed

The family of Milkha Singh, born in Pakistan, was also a victim of the tragedy of the Partition of India, during which eight siblings were killed along with his parents. Only four people were able to escape from them and come to India. Later on, Milkha became one of the great sprinters of the world, now also known as Flying Sikh.

The country lost a great player today. At the age of 91, Milkha Singh breathed his last at Chandigarh’s PGI Hospital. He had come corona negative, but due to post covid problems, he was re-admitted to PGI hospital where he died.

Milkha Singh was born on November 20, 1929, on the soil of Pakistan. His village used to fall in the Muzaffargarh district of undivided India, which now falls in West Pakistan. The name of his village was Govindpura. He was born in a Rajput Rathor family. He had a total of 12 siblings, but his family fell victim to the tragedy of Partition, during which eight siblings were also killed along with their parents. Only four family members survived, one of whom went on to become one of the world’s greatest sprinters, now known as the Flying Sikh.

After coming to India, Milkha Singh’s full emphasis was to join the country’s army and in 1951 he joined the Indian Army. Joining the Indian Army was the turning point from where a great player emerged. During this time he got a chance to participate in sports. In an interview, Milkha Singh says that a race was organized just 15 days after joining the army. Due to which ten soldiers were to be selected for athletics training. When I started the race, my stomach started hurting, due to which I had to stop, after that I started my race again. I must have walked half a mile when the pain started again. Stops, then starts walking, then stops, then walks again. In this way he completed the race, yet I managed to come in sixth place out of those nearly five hundred people. In this way his door opened for sports in the Indian Army. What happened after that is history.

In 1958, he became the first individual athletics player in the country to win a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. He was the only Indian to receive this honor till the year 2010. He also won gold medals in the year 1958 and the Asian Games held in the year 1958. During this time, the government honored him with the Padma Shri award for his contribution to sports. Milkha Singh had led the country in three consecutive Olympic Games. These three Olympics were the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, then 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome and 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo.

Milkha Singh’s struggle in achieving this position has also been very harsh, to strengthen himself, he used to run in the sand on the banks of river Yamuna, also run in the hilly area, not only that he also used to run on the railway track.

He won the National Games held in Patiala in 1956, only four years after he joined the country’s army. Due to which he got a chance to give trials for the Olympics. But he had to go through a terrible and painful experience even before he could give trial for the Olympics.

The rivals of Milkha Singh did not want Milkha Singh to participate in that race. That’s why his rivals attacked him a day before. Attempts were made to damage his head and legs. The next morning there were marks on his body and fever was also there. When they reached the doctor, the doctor said that they should not participate in running.

But Milkha Singh remained adamant and stubborn, he took a pill of medicine and participated in the trial and won. Thus opened his way to the Olympics. In the 1960 Rome Olympics, he had missed a medal by coming too close, coming fourth in the 400 meters race at the Rome Olympics.

He has also written his autobiography named ‘Race of My Life’, his daughter Sonia Sanwalka is the co-author of this autobiography. Based on this book, a Hindi film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was also made in the year 2013, in which the role of Milkha Singh was played by actor Farhan Akhtar.

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