Once crossing hurdles used to be part of his daily schedule. But today, Olympian Jasbir Singh Ghuman, 67, cannot take even a step without somebody’s help. Moreover, he can’t even narrate his past laurels.
All he could share about his sporting achievements was his participation in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and the gold medal in the Asian championship in Seoul. Ghuman, who had ruled the national 400m hurdle circuit for half-a-decade in early ‘70s, is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and even lost his eyesight four years ago.
The Gurdaspur-born athlete, who migrated to Canada and later got even USA citizenship in late ‘70s, became a successful hotelier and once owned a 225-room hotel ‘Crown Plaza’ in Pennsylvania. But because of his deteriorating health, the family had to sell off the five star property in 2005.
Now Ghuman, along with his wife Gurmit Kaur and three daughters, is settled in Toronto, Canada. But for the last six months, Gurmit with her ailing husband is in Mohali to get back the `2.65 crore they had loaned to their Chandigarh-based friend Inderpreet Singh Chadda in 2010.
“Inderpreet had promised to return the money in January this year. But it’s been six months and he has not returned a rupee,” Gurmit Kaur told a press conference in Chandigarh on Friday. “We sold our property in Ludhiana. On the request of Inderpreet, my husband lent him the Rs 2.65 crore in good faith,” she said.
When asked if she had any proof regarding lending the money to Inderpreet, she replied, “No document was signed as we trusted him. After visiting his house several times Inderpreet issued a cheque (no. 000121), dated June 15, for Rs 2.65 crore drawn on HDFC Bank, Sector 46, Chandigarh. But the cheque was dishonoured due to insufficient funds.”
“Now we don’t have any fixed income and because of the money spent on my husband’s health, we are banking on the money that we gave to Inderpreet,” she said.
Inderpreet Chadda could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.