Teenager Harpreet Singh had never in his life imagined that his sporting career would be revived by one of India’s most legendary athletes in Milkha Singh.
Harpreet, an 18-year-old hockey player who was one of the top scorers at the Khelo India Youth Games earlier this year, was forced to work a double-shift as a labourer after he was not named in the Indian junior team’s probables squad.
Harpreet’s story, which was reported by the Punjab-based news organisation The Tribune, caught Milkha Singh’s eye and his family made up their mind to help the youngster.
They also assured Harpreet that he would be provided with the requisite facilities by ‘Milkha’s Charitable Trust’, an entity they set up to help youngsters like Harpreet get the support needed to fulfil their potential.
“No dream is small. If you want to play for India, you should be ready to give your best for achieving it. I have faced such situations. But once you fight against the odds, you achieve what you desire,” Milkha Singh told Harpreet Singh.
For the 18-year-old Harpreet, the financial support is a new lease of life and it also gives him new hope of fulfilling his dream as the local hockey association planned to appeal to the national selectors to give Harpreet a trial.
“I am very happy. I have no words to explain my feelings. I have never expected to meet Milkha sir and his family like this. I won’t let them down,” an elated Harpreet Singh told The Tribune.
The Milkha Singh family has been actively helping people out for a long time. They requested the makers of ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, the biopic on Milkha Singh, to donate the proceeds from the film to the ‘Milkha Charitable Trust’.
Milkha Singh’s daughter Dr Mona was also at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 in New York.