Boxing fraternity to help Olympian Lakha Singh who drives taxi for a living

Former boxer Lakha Singh, who represented India in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, is currently driving taxi in Ludhiana and is struggling financially.

Former boxers will contribute to provide some financial assistance to Lakha Singh.   -  Special Arrangement

A group of Arjuna award-winning boxers have come together to bail out Olympian Lakha Singh, who is driving taxi to earn his living and going through financial stress.

Big names of Indian boxing, including V. Devarajan, Rajendra Prasad, Jitender Kumar, Dingko Singh and Suranjoy Singh, met in Baddi on the sidelines of the National boxing championships and decided to extend a helping hand to Lakha, who represented the country in 91kg in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

“We got to know that Lakha is driving taxi in Ludhiana. He was in the USA for some time. However, he is not doing well financially and we feel it is our duty to help a fellow boxer,” World Cup bronze medalist V. Devarajan told Sportstar.

“Lakha is a fine human being. It's sad to see him in such a situation.”

Lakha Singh (first from left in top row) with the 1994 Asian Games side. Photo: Special Arrangement

 

Lakha, in his 50s, was grateful to his fellow colleagues. “I have a family, including two sons, and am going through financial difficulties. I am thankful to all of them,” said Lakha.

In 1997, Lakha, an 81kg bronze medallist in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games and a former Armyman, was waylaid on his return from the USA along with the Services team and spent around a decade there. “I managed to return with the help of the Indian embassy eight-nine years ago. I lost my job, lost everything. I have been driving taxi since then. I have not even received any cash award for my Asian Games medal.”

According to Devarajan, the former boxers will contribute to provide some financial assistance to Lakha. “We will pool money and give it to him. We have formed a group of 30 boxers and are trying to make the group bigger.

“We appeal the Union Sports Ministry to provide some financial assistance to Lakha.”

Devarajan said the group would continue to work for the welfare of boxers. “We are planning to meet and raise various issues related to the welfare of boxers. Besides, we want to provide assistance to promising boxers,” he said.