For the family of 20-year-old hockey skipper Harjeet Singh of Kurali, it was a dream come true. Their ward captained the country’s junior hockey team to the World Cup title, an achievement that has come after a 15-year wait. The team defeated Belgium 2-1 in the final in Lucknow on Sunday evening. The son of a truck driver, the mid-fielder faced a lot of resistance in his career choice from the family. Father Rampal Singh found it a financial burden to support his son’s dream. Now, an ecstatic mother, Balwinder Kaur, cannot wait for him to return home and begin the celebrations. The father is in Kolkata.
“The family watched the match on TV. As soon as the final whistle blew, our happiness knew no bounds,” Balwinder said. “His paternal uncles were also with me. Now that India has won, we will celebrate through the night. The real happiness will be when he returns home. His cousin brother Sohan Singh went to Lucknow to watch the final,” she added.
“We wanted to visit Lucknow for the semifinals, but somehow could not make it. Now, the victory in the final has made this the happiest day for us,” said Sohan Singh, who travelled to Lucknow along with his son Harkirat, Harjeet’s paternal uncle Laksman Singh and friends.
Sohan credits Harjeet’s hard work for the success and fame that he has achieved.
He adds that after being voted the most promising player at the 2013 Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia, Harjeet never looked back.
“His father is a truck driver and earns little. This achievement in hockey is sheer hard work and determination of Harjeet. He received little financial support from the government. We did whatever we could but in the end it was Harjeet’s passion which helped him continue the game,” Sohan added.
He added that the atmosphere at the stadium was electric.
“We have seen MS Dhoni lift the Cricket World Cup in 2011 and now I can proudly say that my younger brother has lifted the World Cup too,” he said.