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Lockdown stalls Asian Games gold medallist Dingko Singh’s trip to Delhi for cancer treatment

The 1998 Asian Games gold medallist has had a relapse of liver cancer and needs to make the journey to Delhi for treatment. However, a nationwide lockdown is preventing the journey.

Written by Shivam Saha |
Updated: April 21, 2020 1:18:12 pm
Dingko Singh and his wife Babai at a friend’s residence in Shahpur Jat. (Express Photo)

Former Indian boxer Dingko Singh who has had a relapse of liver cancer needs to visit New Delhi for treatment. But due to the nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19 till May 3 he remains stranded in his hometown in Manipur. The 41-year-old 1998 Asian Games gold medal winner has sought assistance from the sports ministry to make the journey at the earliest.

“With his condition being critical, it’s very urgent to take him to Delhi, where he was treated before as plenty of checkups and treatment were still pending. We had planned to visit Delhi at least 10-15 days ago, but due to the nationwide lockdown we are unable to travel,” his wife Babai Devi told in a telephonic interview.

She said that they have sought assistance from the Sports Authority of India and are hopeful.

“They have always helped us with the funds without any compromise. The last time also when he was admitted in the hospital, they helped us with the bills,” she said.

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Singh first burst into the limelight in 1997, when he triumphed at the King’s Cup in Bangkok. A year later he clinched a gold medal at the Asian Games in Bangkok in the 54-kg bantamweight category. The same year he was awarded the Arjuna Award and in 2013 he received the Padma Shri. Formerly with the Navy, Singh is credited with inspiring a whole generation of boxers.

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Babai Devi also said that they had contacted the doctors in Delhi, who told her they couldn’t help due to the prevailing situation and advised getting treatment locally.

“We asked the doctor here – where he underwent chemotherapy three years ago – if we can do it again to provide some relief. However, with my husband being extremely weak and due to jaundice, the doctors suggested that chemo would be a dangerous risk, so we have avoided that,” she said.

Singh is at his home in Sekta, Imphal East and has not been admitted to a hospital. Babai Devi said it is becoming extremely difficult for the former boxer to make the journey to the hospital.

“The local hospital is 20 kilometres away and it becomes extremely difficult for him to commute till there. So whenever it is necessary we take him, or else I consult the doctors,” she said.

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