Chandigarh: The only Indian boxer to enter the ring to fight the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali, 69-year-old Kaur Sing is going through financial crisis and is struggling to repay Rs 2 Lakh to a private financer he had obtained from for the treatment of his cardiac issues.
What an Irony of India, four-time national boxing champion, winner of six gold medals in international competitions, the man who brought Pride to India winning Gold in 1982 Asian Games, along with being awarded the Arjuna Award in 1982 and the Padmashri in 1983 has left the game after winning two consecutive bouts in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics is now ignored by the Indian Government when he is falling short of money to pay bills for his cardiac issues.
He had joined the Indian Army in 1971 as a Havildar at a young age of 23 and returned to his hometown village — Khanal Khurd in Sangrur district of Punjab. Kaur was also awarded Vishisht Sewa Medal in 1988 for his bravery during the 1971 India-Pakistan War.
Kaur had suffered blocked arteries two years ago which required putting a stent in the blocked arteries. The Army had paid Rs 3 lakh for his treatment then. But he managed to repay the Rs 2 Lakh loan he borrowed from a financer to fund his additional treatment costs.
Speaking to TOI, Kaur told, “I had borrowed Rs 2 lakh two years ago from a private lender and had managed to pay that back after harvest. This year, I had to borrow Rs 2 lakh again for hospital expenses in Mohali. The amount escalates to an additional Rs 50,000 within a span of 6 months as interest and my income is not enough to repay the debt. I don’t know how I will return this money.”
He adds that though he was promised cash award of Rs 1 Lakh in 1982 after winning the Gold medal, from the Government he never received any money. He said, “I was promised Rs 1 lakh which might be equal to Rs 20 lakh in contemporary times.”
Though Kaur receives a monthly pension from the Army since he served them as a coach and also the Punjab Government he says that is not sufficient for funding his cardiac treatment.