Former Indian women volleyball team captain Nirmal Kaur and wife of sprint legend Milkha Singh, passed away on Sunday night at Mohali hospital due to COVID-19 related complications.
She was 85 and is survived by her husband, a son ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
"We are deeply saddened to inform you that Mrs. Nirmal Milkha Singh passed away after a valiant battle against COVID at 4 PM today," a statement from the spokesperson of the Milkha family said.
"A back bone of the Milkha Family, she was 85 years old. It is tragic that the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh ji could not attend the cremation which was conducted this evening itself as he is still in the ICU (of PGIMER in Chandigarh) himself."
Nirmal, who contracted the deadly virus last month, 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 and ex-captain of the Indian national volleyball team, Nirmal had fought a valiant battle till the very end, the family spokesperson said.
"The family has expressed its grateful thanks to everyone for their solidarity and prayers right through the battle which gave them the strength to face it bravely."
Though, she continued to be stable for many days, however, her condition kept deteriorating for the last few days.
Son, Jeev Milkha Singh tweeted: The Milkha family lost its backbone today. Mom taught us to be humble and be good human beings above everything else. We can never thank her enough for everything she did for us and the unconditional love she showered…every day. Thank you all for the prayers and kind messages.