Former Indian women volleyball team captain Nirmal Kaur, wife of legendary sprinter legend Milkha Singh, died at a Mohali hospital due to complications related to COVID-19 infection she had contracted last month. She was 85 and is survived by his husband, one son and three daughters.
Nirmal was brought to Fortis Hospital at Mohali on May 26, two days after Milkha was admitted to the same facility due to COVID-pneumonia. Milkha was discharged on the request of the family a week later but Nirmal remained at the hospital, batting the dreaded infection. Milkha was later admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of PGIMER here and he is currently "stable and continues to improve".
A former Director of Sports for Women in the Punjab Government, Nirmala was born in the year 1938 in Sheikhpura, Punjab. She met Milkha Singh for the first time in Patiala.
Nirmal earned a Political Science Master's degree in 1958 from Punjab University. She was captain of the Punjab volleyball team on three separate occasions. In 1955, she also went on tour to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as part of the UP volleyball team.
The same year, while participating in the Indo-Ceylon Championship her love with Singh blossomed. Furthermore, in 1959, Nirmal led an Indian side to success on their Ceylon tour, winning every match.
Additionally, during 1956, she was a member of the Punjab team who became National Champions in Patiala. The team did not lose a single game in the tournament.
According to an interview with Harmony, Nirmal says, she was always wearing traditional clothing during global tournaments: "During international matches, I always wore salwar kameez while playing."
In 1962, after tying the knot with Milkha, she left the sport to concentrate on her new marital life. Despite quitting, the Punjab side that she had been representing was the number one team in India until 1963.
Nirmal was the mother of Indian professional golfer Jeev Milkha Singh. Her sporting background surely must have had some effect on Jeev.