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Meet Paramjeet Singh, Anand Mahindra’s start-up hero, who restarted and reinvented his life - not just once but twice. The billionaire businessman, on July 25, shared a profile of Singh on Twitter and hailed the 1984-riots victim for having more spirit and courage than just starting up a business.

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As per reports, Paramjeet Singh was the sole distributor of Rasna, India’s original energy drink, until 1984 anti-Sikh riots happened. According to government projections, there were roughly 2,800 Sikh deaths in Delhi and 3,350 nationwide during the riots. However independent sources place the death toll as high as 17,000 people. The Operation Blue Star military operation to secure the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, had been ordered by Indira Gandhi before she was assassinated. Soon, after the assassination, the riots began.

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In Delhi's Lodhi Colony, Singh grew up in a middle class household. His father worked for the government. He had operated a sizable godown in Lajpat Nagar with 7-8 auto rickshaws supplying Rasna throughout Delhi at one point. He was a popular figure in every market.

Paramjeet Singh
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Paramjeet Singh

Singh lost the Rasna dealership, eight cars and the entirety of his godown in the 1984 riots. He tried to collaborate with several food businesses, but it didn't work out. He then began his life over by purchasing and operating a taxi. Six years later, on his way back from Mussoorie, he had a horrific accident and spent 13 days in a coma. His knees, ribs and one hand were all crushed when he awoke in a hospital in Dehradun.

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He was treated for three months by doctors at Safdarjung Hospital. Then, he underwent physiotherapy and exercise for a further 3.5 months. He stood up again, but the car was not in a running state. He then bought an auto rickshaw. However, he had a stroke a few years later.

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While mainy hailed Singh for his resilience, one Twitter user wrote, “Singh who could build Rasna is now forced to drive an auto because of riots, this is not resilience.....this is a huge loss for India. He deserves the right support system for building the next Rasna."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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