By Prabhjot Singh | INDIA |
Gloom cast its spell in Indian sports circles again as coronavirus claimed yet another precious life.
This time, its latest victim was none other than Nirmal Kaur, former Indian spiker and Indian national volleyball team captain, and wife of Flying Sikh Milkha Singh.
She lost her battle due to complications related to Covid-19 infection in a tri-city hospital late on Sunday (13 June). She was 85.
A couple of weeks ago, two hockey Olympians – Maharaj Kaushik and Ravinderpal Singh – died of Covid-19.
“Nimmy” to her friends and family members, she was taken to a hospital on ay 26, two days after her husband tested positive for the dreaded virus. She, however, showed good signs of recovery and almost fought her way out of this battle against the virus. A relapse and depleting Oxygen levels this morning made doctors attending on her worried. Only yesterday’s medical bulletin described her and Flying Sikh Milkha Singh as “stable”.
“A backbone of the Milkha Family, she was 85 years old. It is tragic that the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh ji could not attend the cremation which was conducted this evening itself as he is still in the ICU (of PGIMER in Chandigarh) himself,” according to a statement from the family.
Nirmal Milkha Singh, like her husband, hawked newspaper headlines in late 60s and early 70s, first as an athlete and later as an outstanding volleyball player. She led Indian women’s volleyball team in international matches, including Sri Lanka.
It was during her posting as a Physical Education teacher at a Ropar College that she met Flying Sikh Milkha Singh and later they got married. She served the Punjab Sports Department as Deputy Director before joining the Chandigarh Administration on deputation as Joint Director as well as Secretary, Chandigarh Sports Council.
Nirmal had long association with women’s hockey and served it in various capacities, including its Secretary-General with Arnawaz Damania as President.
Her son, Chiranjeev Milkha Singh, is an outstanding golfer. Besides her husband, who is recovering from Covid-19, Nirmal leaves behind three daughters, a son and grand children.
(Source: Social media update by Prabhjot Singh, with additional information)
Golfer Jeev Milkha: I like listening to paath in the mornings, it calms me (Asia Samachar, 16 Jan 2016)