Former international table tennis player and a former India number one, Prafulla ‘Pappu’ Haldankar, died on Tuesday morning due to cardiac failure after being hospitalised last month. He was 79 and is survived by his wife Sangeeta, two sons, daughters-in-law and grandsons, said a media release. “He was a popular man, soft-spoken and extremely helpful to Railways players,” said Olympian and eight-time national champion, Kamlesh Mehta.
Haldankar started playing table tennis for Deccan Gymkhana, Pune and represented India for 5 years from 1961 to 1965. He was ranked first in India in 1961-62 season and also represented the country in two Asian Championships and two World Championships. After retirement he was the coach of Indian Railways for many years. He worked for Western Railway and retired in 1995 as Chief Welfare Inspector from DRM office, Bombay Central.