Milkha Singh: Biography, Achievements & More

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biography of milkha singh

Milkha Singh, or “The Flying Singh,” as he was popularly known, was an Indian track and field sprinter who also served his time in the Indian military, where he was introduced to the sport of field sprinting. He won several medals and represented India on the global stage at various times. The contributions he made to the Indian sports fraternity are unmatched and unparalleled. Read this blog to learn more about “Milkha Singh’s Biography and Life.”

Overview of Milkha Singh’s Life
Full NameMilkha Singh
NicknameThe Flying Singh
Birth Date20 November, 1929
Birth PlaceGovindpura, present-day Muzaffargarh District, Pakistan
SpouseNirmal Saini
AwardsPadma Shri
Died18 June 2021

Milkha Singh’s Biography and Personal Life

The Flying Singh was born on November 20, 1929, in Govindpura, present-day Muzaffargarh District, Pakistan. As a child, he had the genes of a runner, as he used to run 10 kilometres to and from his school. When he was 23 years old, in 1952, he was recruited as a young sepoy in the Indian army. It was when he joined the Indian army that his teachers recognized that he was a sprinter, as he sprinted six miles just for a glass of milk, as promised by his teacher.

  • In 1962, he got married to Nirmal Saini, a former Indian women’s volleyball player and team captain.
  • Jeev Milkha Singh Rathore, the renowned Indian professional golfer, is the son of Milkha Singh and has won multiple championships and tournaments.
  • He has 3 daughters and a son with his wife, Nirmal Saini.

Also read: Bhagat Singh: Biography, Revolutionary Struggle, Death

Milkha Singh: Achievements & Records 

The table below shows the notable achievements of Milkha Singh, who was also awarded the Padma Shree:

200 m1958 Asian GamesGold
400 m1958 Asian GamesGold
440 yards1958 Asian GamesGold
400 m1962 Asian GamesGold
4×400 m relay1962 Asian GamesGold
400 m1964 Calcutta National GamesSilver
Milkha Singh, the flying sikh
Credits: TOI

Milkha Singh’s Journey and Life after Athletics

Milkha Singh’s childhood was affected by the partition of the country, because of which his personal life witnessed several ups and downs. In 1960, during the India-Pakistan sports meet to which he was invited, Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru asked Milkha Singh to represent India. In the event, he was challenged by Pakistan’s fastest sprinter, Abdul Khaliq. Milkha defeated him and won a gold medal for India, and General Ayub Khan named him “The Flying Sikh of India.”

  • Milkha Singh’s achievements at the 1958 Asian Games earned him a promotion from sepoy to junior commissioned officer.
  • After this, he became the Director of Sports to help Punjab’s Ministry of Education.
  • “The Race of My Life,” the autobiography, was co-authored with his daughter Sonia Sanwalka.
  • In 2003, he established the Milkha Singh Charitable Trust to help underprivileged athletes.
  • In 2013, a biographical film, titled ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, starring Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor.
  • He died in 2021 due to pneumonia caused by COVID-19.


What is Milkha Singh best known for?

Milkha Singh, also known as “The Flying Sikh,” is best known for his achievements in track and field athletics. He won several gold medals at the Asian Games and represented India internationally, becoming a symbol of national pride and athletic excellence.

What inspired Milkha Singh to pursue athletics?  

Milkha Singh’s talent for running was recognized during his time in the Indian army, where he started sprinting. His determination and speed earned him accolades, motivating him to excel in athletics and represent India on the global stage.

What legacy did Milkha Singh leave behind?

Milkha Singh’s legacy extends beyond athletics. He promoted sports in India, served as Director of Sports for Punjab, and established a charitable trust to support underprivileged athletes. His life story was also immortalized in the film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, which inspired many.

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This was all about the biography of Milkha Singh, the flying sikh. If you want to know more about other Famous Personalities then visit our General Knowledge page!

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