Education: Bachelor Of Arts
Height: 5′ 9″
|Full name||Devender Pal Singh NDTV|
|Profession(s)||Former Indian Army officer, Social Activist, and Athlete|
|Famous for||• Becoming India’s first blade runner
• Becoming Asia’s first paraplegic solo skydiver
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 175 cm
in meters– 1.75 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 9”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms– 65 kg
in pounds– 143 lbs
|Hair Colour||Salt and Pepper|
|Service Years||6 December 1997 – 2007|
|Unit(s)||• 7th Battalion of the Dogra Regiment
• Army Ordinance Corps
|Commands||• Platoon Commander (as a captain)
• Company Commander (as a major)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Mention-in-dispatches by the Indian Army for his role in Operation Vijay (2000)
• Limca Book of Records after becoming India’s first amputee to run a 21-kilometre marathon (2009)
• DNA Exemplar Award by ICICI bank (2010)
• Service Exemplary Award by ICICI bank (2011)
• Limca Book of Records as India’s first blade runner (2013)
• Limca Book of Records for becoming India’s first blade runner to complete a high-altitude marathon (2015)
• Rex Karamveer Global Fellowship AFS Intercultural Programs India (2015)
• People of The Year Award by Limca Book of Records (2016)
• Asia’s first disabled solo para driver certificate by Indian Book of Records (2018)
• Asia’s first disabled solo para diver certificate by Asia Book of Records (2018)
• National Award for The Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities by the Government of India (2018)
|Date of Birth||
• Source 1: 13 January 1974 (Sunday)
• Source 2: 13 September 1973 (Thursday)
|Age (as of 2022)||• Source 1: 48 Years
• Source 2: 49 Years
|Birthplace||Jagadhari, Yamunanagar district, Haryana|
• Source 1: Capricorn
• Source 2: Virgo
|Hometown||Jagadhari, Yamunanagar district, Haryana|
|School||Kendriya Vidyalaya, Roorkee|
|College/University||• Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut
• Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
|Educational Qualification||• Bachelor of Arts from distance learning Hindustan Times
• PGDM LinkedIn-DP Singh
|Religion||Sikhism Hindustan Times|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status||Not known|
|Children||Son– Tegsimar Singh (NCC cadet)|
Father– Name not known (former GREF employee)
Mother– Gurdeep Kaur
|Siblings||Sister– Simmi Gill Virk|
|Bike Collection||He owns a Royal Enfield|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Major DP Singh
- Major DP Singh is a retired officer of the Indian Army, social activist, and para-athlete. He is best known for holding a record as India’s first blade runner and Asia’s first disabled solo para diver.
- During his schooling, Major DP Singh not only failed to pass the 11th standard on the first attempt but also failed twice to clear the all-India National Defence Academy’s entrance exam.
- While pursuing his graduation, Major DP Singh appeared for the military entrance exam, Combined Defence Services Exam (CDSE), conducted by the UPSC. He cleared the exam and the Indian Army’s selection process on his second attempt. Hindustan Times In an interview, DP Singh said,
I was not the most brilliant kid. I flunked once in class 11 and failed twice to join the NDA. But I knew what I had to do. The army had always enthused me. When my friends were preparing for IIT, I prepared for CDSE. I couldn’t make it through in my first attempt, but in the second chance, I cleared my exam and joined the Indian Military Academy.”
Major DP Singh with his course mates at the Indian Military Academy
- In June 1996, Major DP Singh joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA). On 6 December 1997, he was commissioned in the Indian Army’s 7th Battalion of the Dogra Regiment.
Major DP Singh during his piping ceremony at IMA
- In I998, a few months after his commissioning, DP Singh, with his unit, was moved to the Akhnoor sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
- In 1999, when the Kargil War broke out between India and Pakistan, Major DP Singh was deployed at the Line of Control (LOC), and in July 1999, DP Singh and his company were ordered to capture a Pakistani bunker which was keeping vigilance on the movement of the Indian Army’s troops and was situated at a very strategically important place.
- In the early hours of 15 July 1999, Major DP Singh led his company to attack the Pakistani post. When he was about to reach the Pakistan Army’s bunker, a mortar shell blasted a few feet away from him; wounding him grievously.
- On 15 July 1999, DP Singh was evacuated by his fellow soldiers and was admitted to a military hospital, where he was declared dead upon arrival. The doctors, somehow, managed to revive him and by the time he was revived, gangrene, a form of infection, had infected his entire right leg due to which the doctors decided to amputate his right leg from the knee. In an interview, then he said,
We were merely 80 metres away from the enemy post. A 48-hour lull at that time, without a single bullet being fired, was slightly unnerving. When the conflict scene is hot and nothing happens, you have a feeling that something bad is about to happen. There was a sense of foreboding which precedes a tragedy. The killing area of a bomb is in an eight-metre diameter. Today I can joke that the bomb had my name written on it but it couldn’t still kill me. Jaako raakhe saiyan, mar sake na koye.”
A photograph of Major DP Singh taken at Akhnoor in 1999
- Other than amputating his right leg, the doctors also had to take out 73 shrapnels from his body, which were embedded in different body parts. Out of 73 shrapnels, the doctors could only manage to remove a total of forty shrapnels. Due to the trauma of the war, DP Singh was also diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); a form of psychological disorder. While giving an interview, Major DP Singh said,
Do an X-ray and you’ll find pieces of shrapnel with the marking Made in Pakistan in my body.”
A photo explaining the injuries suffered by Major DP Singh during the 1999 Kargil War
- Major DP Singh was transferred from the Dogra Regiment; an infantry battalion, to Army Ordinance Corps (AOC); a non-infantry battalion, due to his injuries and disability. After serving for eight more years, Major DP Singh retired from the Indian Army in 2007.
- In 2007, after leaving the army, he joined the ICICI bank as a training manager, where he was tasked to look after the training of the employees as well as with the formulation of policies related to the training of the new bank employees. He worked in the bank till 2015.
- In 2007, ten years after getting injured, DP Singh began practising running with a prosthetic limb. While giving an interview, DP Singh claimed that his injuries had begun to take a toll on his morale as he could not do anything while he was recovering from his injuries. He said,
Yes, it took me 10 years to be able to start running. I just couldnt get used to the sympathetic glances I used to get from people. After a while, I was desperate to change that. From lying down on the bed, to being on my feet and learning how to walk again, first with a crutch and then with an artificial leg: I went through a gamut of emotions.”
- When Major DP Singh started practising, he faced a lot of problems. According to him, while running, his amputated stump began to bleed as the blade, due to friction, peeled off the skin around the stump. He said that while running with a blade, he could feel the painful jerk in his head. In an interview, DP Singh told,
Running with a prosthetic limb was a lot more problematic than I had imagined. My amputated leg began to bleed because of the pressure exerted on it by the prosthetic limb. Even the skin had begun to peel off. I could feel the pressure originate from the ground and go up to my head.”
- After taking retirement from the Indian Army, DP Singh participated in several marathons across the country. In 2009, he completed his first half-marathon of 21 kilometres in New Delhi.
- To support the amputees and help them overcome their difficulties, Major DP Singh founded a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) named The Challenging Ones (TCO) in 2011. According to DP Singh, the NGO, till July 2022, had more than 1400 amputees as its part. In an interview, he said,
We also have a peer support group. When we come to know of a new accident case, the attempt is to go and meet the person. Recently, after a marathon in Bangalore, along with four fresh amputees, I met a teenager named Sachin at the Pro Med Hospital who had lost three limbs (two legs and one hand) in a bad road accident.”
Logo of The Challenging Ones (TCO)
- On 27 November 2011, DP Singh took part in the Airtel half-marathon in New Delhi.
- DP Singh, on 2 May 2014, took part in his first high-altitude half-marathon in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. He became the first Indian blade runner to complete a high-altitude marathon. The marathon was held at a height of 11,700 feet.
- Red Bull appointed DP Singh as a brand ambassador for its initiative, “Wings For Life World Run” in 2015.
- In 2016, Adidas started an initiative called Odds, which aimed at promoting its products among amputees. The brand selected Major DP Singh as its initiative’s brand ambassador.
Major DP Singh in Adidas’ commercial
- DP Singh also participated in the 2018 Territorial Army and Athletic Federation of India (TAAFI) marathon.
- After the Indian Army declared 2018 as the year of disabled war veterans, Major DP Singh was chosen by the army as its initiative’s brand ambassador. Later in 2018, he was invited to meet the former Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, where he requested the former Army Chief to allow him to train at the Indian Army’s Adventure Wing (IAAW) at Nashik for his upcoming para diving event.
Major DP Singh while training at Nashik
- In 2018, following the approval of this request, he was sent to Nashik, where he trained for three months. After completing his training, DP Singh conducted his first Accelerated Free Fall (AFF) para diving stunt on 28 March 2018, becoming the first Asian disabled veteran to partake in a solo para diving event. The Quint
Major DP Singh after completing his para diving stunt
A collage of DP Singh’s para diving being presented to late General Bipin Rawat by Major DP Singh
- In the same year, he was invited to give a speech at ACT NOW, an event which was organised by the United Nations (UN).
Major DP Singh while giving a speech at ACT NOW
- In 2018, Radio City Kanpur invited and interviewed Major DP Singh.
Major DP Singh at Radio City Kanpur while giving an interview
- In 2019, to commemorate Kargil Vijay Diwas, DP Singh carried the victory flame from Kargil to Drass to honour the Indian troops who took part in the war.
Major DP Singh carrying the victory flame to commemorate Kargil Vijay Diwas
- In 2020, as a speaker, DP Singh took part in the talk show, Transform and Succeed.
Major DP Singh giving a speech at the talk show, Transform and Succeed
- In 2021, DP Singh was invited as a guest speaker at the international talk show, TEDx.
Major DP Singh while giving a speech at the talk show named TEDx
- In 2021, Major DP Singh was invited by the Indian Navy to participate in the Swarnim Maitri Half Marathon to commemorate the golden jubilee of the 1971 Indo-Pak War.
A poster of the Swarnim Maitri Half Marathon organized by the Indian Navy
- In 2021, DP Singh took part in the Super Sikh Marathon in New Delhi.
Super Sikh Run’s poster
- In the same year, DP Singh authored a book titled Grit: The Major Story.
Major DP Singh while handing over a copy of his book to Lt Gen YK Joshi, former Indian Army Commander
- While training at the Indian Military Academy (IMA), DP Singh’s friends used to jokingly call him “Drill Purpose;” a term used by the Indian Military for a “dummy” rifle which is used by the trainees for conducting military drills.
- According to Major DP Singh, when he began blade running after sustaining injuries, he looked up to Terry Fox, a Canadian para-athlete, for motivation. While giving an interview, DP Singh claimed,
I was not aware about Oscar Pistorious when I started running. Rather, Terry Fox is a much bigger figure than Oscar. Of course, nobody can match what Oscar has done. But I can not say that I started running only because of him.”
- Major DP Singh celebrates his birthday twice every year. He celebrates his second birthday on 15 July, the date when the doctors managed to revive him after he was declared dead after sustaining life-threatening injuries.
- In July 2022, Sony TV announced that Major DP Singh would be taking part in Kaun Banega Crorepati’s (KBC) Independence Day special episode. The episode would be broadcasted on national television on 7 August 2022. The Shillong Times
|↑2, ↑4, ↑5||Hindustan Times|
|↑7||The Shillong Times|