The death of a 17-year-old national-level Taekwondo player from Amritsar, Sunny Singh -- who drowned in the sea off Marina here on Monday evening -- has left his family devastated.
While his elderly widowed mother is inconsolable, his elder brother, Deepak Singh, continues to be in a state of shock.
“Our hopes have been dashed to the ground. We are shattered and at a loss for words. I wonder if we will be able to recover from this shock. Though Sunny was younger to me, he was the family’s cornerstone. He was a promising sportsman,” said Deepak in a choked voice.
The family, which is finding it hard to make ends meet, has sought relief from the government in the form of a job.
“A government job will help improve our financial condition,” said Deepak.
The youngest of three siblings, deceased Sunny was part of the Punjab Taekwondo Association team, that participated in the 33rd National Junior Taekwondo and 6th National Junior Poomsae Taekwondo Championships in Puducherry.
He was a part of a group of 20 players who participated in the championships held between October 18 and 20.
On Monday evening, deceased Sunny had accompanied his team to Marina in Chennai, where he lost his balance while posing for a photograph standing amidst giant waves.
“I work in a factory, while my mother works as a domestic help. Collectively we earn Rs. 6,000. This is insufficient to support the family,” said Deepak.
“Whenever Sunny was free from sports activities, he used to take up odd jobs, sometimes even working as a waiter in ‘dhabas’ and marriage palaces, to earn money,” he said.
Deceased Sunny, who lost his father at the tender age of 2 years, took up Taekwando five years ago after seeing his peers at Kot Baba Deep Singh School win laurels in the sport.
Deepak said Sunny had participated in more than 25 district, state and national-level tournaments.
He had recently secured admission in Plus One at Khalsa College Senior Secondary School (KCSSS), run by Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC).
He said Sunny’s untimely death had shattered their dreams of a better future.
“We had pinned our hopes on him. He was a Taekwando player and could have landed a well-paying government job,” said Deepak.
Meanwhile, KCGC honourary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, said, “It is a shocking incident and I offer my condolences to the family. The school management will extend financial assistance to his family.”
KCSSS principal Nirmal Singh Bhangu said, “Sunny was a bright student and a prominent player in the Punjab team.”