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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Retired EME officers’ body highlights Milkha’s link with Secunderabad, his training ground

Singh had joined EME at the age of 18 years on September 24, 1953, and was discharged from his services on February 28, 1961.

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 24, 2021 4:38:56 am
Retired EME officers’ body highlights Milkha’s link with Secunderabad, his training groundMilkha Singh’s, fifth from right, during his send-off from EME Centre Trimulgherry. The others in the picture are his CO and the team which recognised Milkha's talent. (Express photo)

IN order to familiarise city residents with the military background of the late Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, the Retired EME Officers Association, Chandigarh, has decided to highlight his connection with the headquarters of The Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) at Secunderabad. The legendary athlete had honed his athletics skills here while serving for at least nine years.

Singh had joined EME at the age of 18 years on September 24, 1953, and was discharged from his services on February 28, 1961. During his stint in EME, Singh was honoured with Padma Shri in 1959 and prestigious Helm Award of the USA in 1959. He was a craftsman and rose up to the rank of Naib Subedar.

The treasurer of Retired EME Officers Association, Col Ravi Bedi (Retd), visited the archive of EME at Secunderabad Wednesday. He collected a few prints and photographs of some of the memorable documents from the archive. “I procured copies of some of the interesting documents related to Milkha Singh. He rose up to the rank of Naib Subedar in the EME. It was here that his talent was recognised. Milkha used to go for long runs from EME Centre to Ammuguda and Koh-e-Imam Zamin Hillock (behind Nag Devta Temple) to build his stamina,” Col Bedi said.

Col Bedi, resident of Sector 39, has served at EME, Secunderabad. One of his sons is settled there. “It was decided by the members of Retired EME Officers Association, Chandigarh, to do something in the memory of the late legendk,” Col Bedi said.

As per a book, ‘History of The Corps of Electrical And Mechanical Engineers (1943-1971)’, “Perhaps after shooting, it is in the field of athletics that EME craftsmen make their mark in the services, national and international meets. Until 1954, even in the local station meet at Secunderabad, EME Centre, athletes were among the ‘also ran’. Then came Recruit Milkha Singh the ‘Flying Sikh’ on the scene to inspire other EME personnel to rise to great heights. In 1955 itself, Craftsmen Milkha Singh, J R Shrike and Onkar Singh represented the services in 400m, 100/200 m and long jump respectively. After that it had been a fantastic rise in the standard of athletes in EME.”

A few years ago, Singh had visited the EME headquarters, Secunderabad, where the then Maj Gen J S Sidana of Military College of EME had hosted him.

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