There's no stopping raider Surjeet Singh

It's no easy task to move on from the demise of a family member but Surjeet Singh has come back strong from three such instances and has made a name for himself in the kabaddi circuit.

Haryana Steelers' Surjeet did well on the mat, recording 10 points in his side's two matches.   -  Special Arrangement

Just a month before the start of the ProKabaddi League (PKL), Surjeet Singh received a nightmarish phone call. The Haryana Steelers player was training at Bengaluru, when he learnt that his brother had passed away due to a motorbike accident.

He rushed to his home town of Rindhana (Sonepat district, Haryana). “I stayed with my family for about two weeks. It was a very sad scene," an emotional Surjeet says, in a chat with Sportstar.

The 26-year-old then joined his teammates at Hyderabad, just in time for the opening PKL fixture. Despite arriving with a heavy heart, Surjeet did well on the mat, recording 10 points in his franchise's two matches. “I am devastated, but what can I do? I have to keep it all inside. I try to forget what happened, but I remember everything,” he says.

The raider has suffered through the loss of a sibling once before. His eldest brother, Baru Ram, was expected to represent the Indian kabaddi team at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games. It was not to be, as Ram succumbed to cancer a few days prior to the start of the Games.

“It was his dream to win an Asian Games gold medal. Before his death, he told my father, ‘Papa, my dream has vanished’. I was in the second standard at the time. My family was broken to pieces. He was the main breadwinner in my family. Life fell apart for all of us,” he says.

As time went by, Surjeet took it upon himself to carry forward his brother's legacy. “When I became a teenager, my brother-in-law told me stories about Baru bhaiya’s feats on the kabaddi field. He told me to fulfill my brother’s dream by winning a gold medal for India. This motivated me to take up the sport seriously,” he says.

Surjeet achieved this goal, when at the 2014 Asian Games, he stood atop the medal podium with the national team. His father, however, could not share in the joy. “My father had passed away a few years earlier. He died when I was competing at my first senior Nationals," he says.

The raider is trying his best to cope with the heartbreaks. “We were five brothers and one sister, and I was the youngest of the lot. Now we are four siblings. For my family’s sake, I want to achieve big things and make everything alright,” he says.