One of independent India's biggest sporting icons, ace sprinter Milkha Singh, died on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment.
The Padma Shri awardee, who was nicknamed 'The Flying Sikh' for his accomplishments, was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' is a 2013 Indian biographical sports drama film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra from a script written by Prasoon Joshi. It stars Farhan Akhtar in the titular role.
The story is based on the life of legendary Indian Sprinter Milkha Singh, who was a Commonwealth Champion and x2 400m Asian champion and an Olympian.
The movie that stars Farhan Akhtar in the titular role, was declared 'super hit' at the box office and is the sixth highest-grossing 2013 Bollywood film worldwide.
It bagged two National Film Awards in the categories- 'Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment' and for 'Best Choreography'. 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' accumulated major accolades under its belt at Film Fare Awards, IIFA and more.
What makes the movie more special is that the legendary athlete and his daughter, Sonia Sanwalka, co-wrote his autobiography, titled 'The Race of My Life'- the book that inspired 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.'
Singh sold the film rights for one rupee and inserted a clause stating that a share of the profits would be given to the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust which was founded in 2003 with the aim of assisting poor and needy sportspeople.
Milkha's 85-year-old wife Nirmal, who had also been infected by the virus, passed away at a private hospital in Mohali on Sunday. The couple were suspected to have contracted the infection from a house help.
Milkha was admitted to PGIMER on June 3 after his oxygen levels dipped at home following treatment at the Fortis hospital in Mohali for a week.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance remains the fourth-place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics.
His timing of 45.6 sec at the Italian capital remained the national record for 38 years before Paramjeet Singh broke it in 1998.
He also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959.
With inputs from Agencies