Dingko Singh, 1998 Asian Games gold medallist boxer, had been recovering from a life-saving operation after suffering from liver cancer. He underwent the procedure in the early parts of January and during it, 70 per cent of his liver had to be removed.
Living in a tiny two-room apartment in Shahpur Jat locality of the national capital, the boxer since was left in a financial crunch and needed support of the sports fraternity to improve. With his career long over, financial aid wasn’t easy to come by. To raise funds for his treatment, the former Navy man had to sell his house in Imphal. “We have already spent Rs 10 lakh so far and are really worried how we will manage the money for treatment. We definitely need help,” Dingko’s wife told Indian Express.
Ever since his medical plight was made public by the media, the ministry chipped in to provide financial support. He was under treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Sports Minister Vijay Goel had tweeted, “Dingko Singh has been provided initial financial aid & he has been assured that whatever his needs are will be taken care of. Dingko is also a SAI coach in Imphal. DG Media_SAI visited him & promised him all possible help. We pray for his speedy recovery.”
The family moved back to Imphal from Delhi because of the rising costs of stay and treatment in the capital. Noticing the situation that has plagued the former champion, India cricketer Gautam Gambhir was saddened with the situation and has reportedly chipped in by providing financial support. He, however, has opted to not publicise how he is helping the boxer. Although, he has used Twitter to ask people to offer their support, “We must take care of our champions jst as they make us proud. Help Asian Games Gold winner by sending a text to Babai-his wife at 8131830664.”
We must take care of our champions jst as they make us proud. Help Asian Games Gold winner by sending a text to Babai-his wife at 8131830664 pic.twitter.com/ryn0fqeI7c
Another boxer in Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh also expressed his shock at hearing the news over Dingko’s state. “I just came back yesterday night and to hear about Dingko was really shocking,” he said. “He is a hero and a rockstar. I know him and he inspired me to become a boxer,” he further added.