07-11-2017 01:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Shooting Her Way To Glory
The world’s oldest sharpshooter is from India. Chandro Tomar also called ‘Dadi’ Tomar as she is in her eighties now defies her age with her powerful eyesight and steady hand that has helped her win many shooting competitions.
Chandro Tomar hails from a small village named Johri in Baghpat district of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Growing up in a place where women’s activities were limited to looking after the household and caring for the family members, she defied social norms to allow her daughter and grandchild to take up shooting. That is how she accidentally came to know of her own hidden talent.
Once, Chandro’s granddaughter didn’t want to go for her practice alone at the shooting club and nudged her grandmother to come with her who readily obliged. At the club, Chandro tried her hand at shooting and impressed all around her with her shooting prowess. The club coach was amazed at her deftness with the pistol and was in admiration of her skill. He immediately asked her to join the club.
It was in the year 2002, that Chandro Tomar started training in shooting. Ever since she has competed in 25 competitions and has also won a gold medal in veteran shooting championship in Chennai.
Chandro Tomar got many laurels and became famous when her hidden talent surfaced, but it was not an easy journey to glory as our patriarchal society often tries to pull down such strong woman. People including her relatives ridiculed her for taking up shooting. However, Tomar didn’t allow the taunts to affect her and continued with her training. She learned the nuances in shooting and began to participate in competitions. Her stunning victories in the numerous competitions in which she participated subdued the villagers who were deterring her and they soon began to appreciate her skill.
The walls of Tomar’s house is filled with medals. She claims that her sweetest victory was when she outclassed the DIG of Police, Delhi in one of the competitions within the first two years of taking up shooting. She even participated in the popular talent show, ‘India’s Got Talent’ and impressed many.
It seems that shooting runs in the family. Her daughter Seema is also a sharpshooter and the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Rifle and Pistol World Cup in 2010. Her granddaughter Neetu Solanki had achieved an international shooter status and taken part in international competitions in Hungary and Germany. They are grateful to Tomar for her lasting support and encouragement.
Chandro Tomar’s coach Farooq Pathan is liberal with praises for her. He says that she has the ultimate skill, a steady hand and a sharp eye.
Chandro Tomar is a simple human being. Even though she has taken up shooting professionally, she still attends to all the household chores and takes care of her grandchildren. She goes to the shooting club once a week. After her days work, she goes to the village shooting range at night to practice shooting every day. Her appearance of a simple village lady with her head covered in sari conceals the vast store of talent hidden in her which she was brave enough unveil and harness. She is a true inspiration to all women and the younger generation.