Flying Sikh sells story to inspire youth

Milkha Singh (SUPPLIED)

Milkha Singh, one of India's greatest track athletes, has sold his life story to a film maker for a cut price one rupee (two cents) in the hope that the biopic might inspire the youth of his country to excel in the sport.

Nicknamed "the Flying Sikh", Milkha Singh was twice Asian Games champion in the 400 metres, Commonwealth champion in 1958 and narrowly missed out on a medal at his second Olympics in Tokyo in 1960.

New Delhi hosts the Commonwealth Games in October this year but the hosts have little hope of any titles on the track.

"This is the year of the Commonwealth Games," the 74-year-old, whose son Jeev is a top Asian golfer, told the Times of India. "I feel sad to say that 52 years after I won a gold in the Cardiff Games, India hasn't been able to win a gold in track events."

Milkha Singh was born in what is now Pakistan and was witness to the murder of his parents during partition before making his escape to India as a refugee in the population exchange that followed.

"I want Indian youth to understand what determination and purpose can achieve," film director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra told the paper.

"If a Milkha, who didn't have access to even basic necessities of life, can aim for the skies, why not others ?"


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