|Birth name||Raj Kumari Lajwanti The Better India|
|Famous for||Being the mother of the former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper|
|Date of Birth||Year 1924|
|Birthplace||Pakpattan (the town of the Sufi saint Baba Farid), Punjab, Pakistan|
|Date of Death||14 June 2009 at around 5 am|
|Place of Death||At her residence in Sector 27, Chandigarh|
|Age (at the time of death)||85 Years|
|Death Cause||Health issues The Indian Express|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Widowed|
|Husband/Spouse||Ram Lal Nikhanj (teak merchant)
|Children||Son(s)- Ramesh Kumar Nikhanj, Bhushan Nikhanj, Kapil Dev
Daughter(s)- Naresh, Manju, Neeru, and Pinky Gill
Some Lesser Known Facts About Raj Kumari Nikhanj
- Raj Kumari Nikhanj, the mother of the legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, was a courageous woman who moulded the formative years of Kapil’s career.
- She grew up in a middle-class family in Pakpattan, the town of the Sufi saint Baba Farid, in Punjab, Pakistan.
- She married Ram Lal Nikhanj, a teak merchant, and moved to Shah Yakka, Okara, Punjab, Pakistan, with him, where she gave birth to her four daughters, Naresh, Manju, Neeru, and Pinky Gill.
- After the partition of India in 1947, Raj Kumari moved to a small town named Fazilka in Punjab, India, along with her husband and daughters.
- During her stay in Fazilka, Raj Kumari Nikhanj gave birth to her two sons, Ramesh Kumar Nikhanj and Bhushan Nikhanj.
- Soon, Raj, along with her husband and children, shifted to Chandigarh and resided in sector 16. She gave birth to her youngest son, Kapil Dev, the legendary Indian cricketer, in Chandigarh in 1959.
- After the demise of her husband in 1975, she raised all her seven children single-handedly.
- She enjoyed cooking different cuisines.
- Born on 16 January 1996, Nikhanj’s granddaughter Amiya Dev (Kapil Dev’s daughter), works as an assistant director.
- She fondly called Kapil ‘Kuckoo.’
- During an interview, Kapil Dev shared that his mother was his biggest inspiration.
- Raj Kumari left for her heavenly abode on 14 June 2009 at around 5 am at her residence in Sector 27, Chandigarh. Nikhanj was dealing with several health problems for a long time. Her funeral took place the same day at Sector 25 cremation ground in Chandigarh. Among the men in mourning were Kapil Dev’s close friend Rakesh Jolly (Haryana’s former cricket player) and his former coach Dronacharya Desh Prem Azad.
- Kapil Dev, in his autobiography, titled ‘Straight from the Heart,’ revealed that it was his mother, Raj Kumari Nikhanj, who shaped up the initial years of his career. He wrote,
Ma was precious to us all. I would look forward to her affection and guidance. She was the greatest cook on Earth and I have fond memories of how she would serve me hot and fresh food. She was the strength behind my rise as a teenager who wanted to bowl fast for India.”
He described his mother as a “pillar of strength” in his book.
- Kapil’s coach, Dronacharya Desh Prem Azad, who attended Raj Kumari’s last rites, said,
Kapil was the apple of his mother’s eyes. I remember she would insist Kapil to have buttermilk during his early days in cricket. Likewise, Kapil was a dotting son, quite close to her.”
- While talking about Raj Kumari in an interview, one of her relatives said,
On 25 June 1983 when India won the World Cup under Kapil Dev’s leadership, Raj Kumari distributed laddoos to all his friends and well-wishers.”