Known to be a terror during his heyday, Makhan had the unique distinction of beating the legendary Milkha Singh in 400m in the Calcutta nationals in 1962.Makhan Singh also won a gold medal in the 4x400m relay event and a silver medal in the quarter-mile race in the 1962 Jakarta Asian Games. In 1964, he was conferred the Arjuna Award, the country’s highest award for sporting excellence, for his achievements.Milkha Singh says ” If there is someone I feared on the track, it was Makhan. He was a superb athlete, who brought the best in me. I would rate him even higher than Pakistan’s Abdul Khaliq. We stayed and practised together for years. I don’t think we’ve seen any better competition in the 400m event in India after that “It was here that destiny took a bad turn in the life of Makhan Singh. Needing financial support for his family, Makhan Singh started driving a truck in Nagpur. Unfortunately, he met with an accident and lost a leg there, which ended his athletics career. He did not receive any financial aid from the government, and his family suffered in penury.To beat poverty, in 1995 Makhan Singh even opened a stationery shop in Chabewal, 3 kilometres away from his village, but could not sustain it as cycling on one leg, which he did for four years, proved too taxing in the end. To help Makhan get over the financial and emotional crisis, Milkha supported him in getting a kerosene oil depot. But he couldn’t earn enough to lead a respectable life and died in 2002 of a cardiac arrest at Chabbewal.
Always remember to be born with a personality is a gift from your parents. But to die as a personality is an achievement of your own.

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