Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday recalled his last conversation with sprint legend Milkha Singh, who died earlier this month, losing his fight against Covid-19.
The Prime Minister, in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ address to the nation on Sunday, applauded India’s Olympic-bound athletes, saying that they have all endured “years of toil” and the country should back them without putting them under pressure during the Tokyo Games next month.
“When we are talking of Tokyo Olympics, how can one forget the legendary athlete Milkha Singh. Some days ago, Corona snatched him away from us. When he was in hospital, I got an opportunity to talk to him,” he said.
“While talking to him I had urged him. I had said that you have represented India in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. So this time, when our players are going to the Olympics in Tokyo, you have to boost the morale of our athletes and have to motivate them with your message. He was so committed and emotional for sports that he immediately gave his consent even during his illness. But unfortunately, providence had other plans,” he added.
Earlier this week, Milkha Singh’s son, golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, had thanked the PM for inquiring about the health of his father. “Thank you PM Mr Narendra Modi for your call to dad and cheering him up, and also for your constant messages during the entire ordeal and the condolence messages. Your personal involvement is greatly appreciated by the Milkha family,” Jeev had tweeted earlier this week.