Two days after his win, Rajendra’s beaming father Nanhelal told MiD DAY: “I can’t believe that he won a medal with just four months of practice at the Maharashtra Rifle Association (MRA) range in Worli. First, he won a medal at the district shooting event and then, the division title.
“I was not at home when he came back after winning the gold medal in the divisional event. But it felt nice when the neighbours informed me that my son had made them proud by winning a medal. I just hope that he works hard and someday I can watch him on television.
“I dropped out of school after Class IV. I got him to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh three years ago so that he gets better education and doesn’t become a taxi driver like me. He has talent and I will do whatever it takes to support him in whatever he does, be it shooting or studies. I hope that he becomes an Army officer.”
Meanwhile, Rajendra’s mother Guddadevi wants to pamper him by cooking his favourite sweets this Diwali. “This is the best Diwali gift that he could have given us. I have no idea what a shooting range looks like. Also, I have never seen him shooting. I will buy him crackers this Diwali and also make Rajendra’s favourite kheer at home,” she said.