Veteran sharpshooter Chandro Tomar, popularly known as 'Shooter Dadi' is no more. The octogenarian died on Friday after battling Covid-19 at Meerut medical college.
One of the oldest professional female shooters in the world and winner of numerous national competitions, Tomar broke targets and stereotypes.
Hailing from a small town Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district where women were not encouraged to step out of their homes, Tomar challenged the patriarchy and took up shooting as a sport.
Tomar was 15 when she got married and took to shooting after she was well over 65. It all started with a chance visit to a shooting club when her grand-daughter expressed a desire to pursue the sport. Tomar picked up the gun and took a shot while at the club and hit the bull’s eye, impressing the club coach.
She then went on to win many national competitions along with her sister Prakashi Tomar.
While the men at home objected to their shooting, they were supported by their sons, daughters-in-law, granddaughters and daughters, including active trap shooter Seema Tomar, and would help them sneak out of the house to practise the sport at a nearby range.
They further encouraged the other women in the house to move out and prove themselves to the world. The Tomar sisters’ grit and determination to win the competitions cannot be looked down on and will surely be an inspiration for the generations to come.
Their story inspired the 2019 Bollywood movie Saand ki Aankh.
Bhumi Pednekar, who played the role of Chandro Tomar mourned her passing by sharing some memories from the sets of the film. She wrote in her post, "Truly feels like a part of me has gone. A part of family has gone."
"Courage, compassion, kindness and a smile on her is how she lived her life. An ace air pistol shooter, a phenomenal teacher a voracious speaker and a nurturer. She will be missed deeply," she added.
"For the inspiration you will always be... You will live on forever in all the girls you gave hope to live. My cutest rockstar, May the love and peace be with you," tweeted Taapsee Pannu, who played Prakashi in the movie.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)