Raj Kumari Nikhanj was an Indian woman who is best known for being the mother of the legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev.
Raj Kumari Nikhanj was born as Raj Kumari Lajwanti The Better India in 1924 (age 85 years; at the time of death) in Pakpattan (the town of the Sufi saint Baba Farid), Punjab, Pakistan. Cricket Country After the partition of India, Raj Kumari, along with her husband and her four daughters, moved to Fazilka in Punjab, India. She stayed there for a few years and eventually moved to Chandigarh with her family.
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Brown
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about her parents.
Husband & Children
Raj Kumari was married to Ram Lal Nikhanj, a teak merchant. The couple had seven children; three sons and four daughters. Her daughters, Naresh, Manju, Neeru, and Pinky Gill Amar Ujala were born in Shah Yakka, Okara, Punjab, Pakistan. Two of her sons, Ramesh Kumar Nikhanj and Bhushan Nikhanj, were born in Fazilka, Punjab, where Raj Kumari and her husband lived shortly after the partition of India. Her youngest son, Kapil Dev, the legendary Indian cricketer, was born in Chandigarh. Raj Kumari raised all her seven children single-handedly after her husband’s demise in 1975.
Raj Kumari Nikhanj was the grandmother of Amiya Dev (Kapil Dev’s daughter) who was born on 16 January 1996.
Raj Kumari Nikhanj was a homemaker.
On 14 June 2009, Raj Kumari Nikhanj breathed her last at around 5 in the morning at her residence in Sector 27, Chandigarh. Apparently, she was suffering from health issues for a long time. Her last rites took place at around 5 pm on the same day at the Sector 25 cremation ground. Her funeral was attended by close relatives and friends. Kapil Dev’s close friend Rakesh Jolly (Haryana’s former cricket player) and his former coach Dronacharya Desh Prem Azad were also present at her last rites. India Today
- Raj Kumari had a passion for cooking.
- In his autobiography titled ‘Straight from the Heart,’ Kapil has described his mother as a “pillar of strength” in his life. He has even mentioned that she was the primary influence who moulded him and shaped his career in his formative years. Talking about his mother in his autobiography, Kapil 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.”
- On her demise, one of her relatives recalled that 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.
- In an interview, While talking about Raj Kumari, Kapil’s coach, Dronacharya Desh Prem Azad, who has been quite close to the family, 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.”