Festive mood in four Amritsar villages as Indian hockey team wins Olympic bronze

A festive mood was in the air in four villages of Amritsar districts that have four of their sons in the Indian men’s hockey contingent which defeated Germany to win the bronze medal to end the country’s 41-year wait for an Olympic medal in the national game.

The proud families of the players — Shamsher Singh (24) of Attari, Dilpreet Singh (20) of Butala, Gurjant Singh (26) of Khaliara and Harmandeep Singh (26) of Timmowal village — dedicated the win to every Indian. Residents of these villages were seen bursting crackers and distributing sweets. Also, politicians queued up to the players’ houses to congratulate their families.

Barring Dilpreet, whose father is a hockey coach who played in the nationals from 1990 to 1996, all three are sons of farmers.

Shamsher, a graduate, started playing hockey when he was only 10. “He was inclined towards hockey since his childhood. He used to play on the local ground with other children of the village. His interest in the game increased as he grew up,” said Samsher’s father Hardev Singh said.

Shamsher’s mother Harpeet Kaur is a housewife.

Gurjant, also a graduate, was inspired by his uncle (mother’s brother) Hardev Singh Chahal who was a hockey player. He started playing hockey when he was studying in class 5. “It was my son’s dream to do something for the country,” said his father Balvir Singh. Gurjant’s mother is a housewife and he has two sisters.

Harmandeep’s father Sarabjit Singh, a farmer and a former kabbaddi player, said, “I congratulate all members of the Indian hockey team. My son worked hard and made it to the national team.”

Dilpreet, who is pursuing his graduation from a Jalandhar-based private university, was inspired none other than his father Balwinder Singh.

“He was nearly 5-year-old when I started training him. He has fulfilled my dream. The entire village is celebrating the win. There is a wedding-like scene at our home,” said Balwinder. Dilpreet’s mother Sukhwant Kaur is also a housewife.

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