|From Drop Box|
Padamshree Milkha Singh, the Olympian athlete, was honoured by Rotary District 3080 with an Award of Excellence. Mr Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune, presented the Award to him.
In an emotion-filled speech, Milkha Singh, whose family holds the unique distinction of having two Padamshrees in the family – the other one being his son Jeev – thanked the Rotarians for the honour, and felt sad that no other athlete had been able to bring home the Olympic gold in the category, which he lost in Rome.
That can only make me happy and India proud, he remarked.
Recalling his struggle and the fact that sports was never considered as the best option in his time, he called upon the parents to let their children grow and flourish and support them with full devotion to make them do hardwork which alone can bring them success in any field in life.
It was Pakistan who gave him the title of Flying Sikh when he defeated Abdul Khalik in the 200 meters race held there in the stadium filled with 60,000 spectators. Recalling the incident he said that he had refused to go to Pakistan for participation because his parents were slain during the partition riots in 1947 but had to go after the then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru persuaded him.