Rajendra Bind of Adarsh Nagar Municipal School in Worli made a memorable debut in the District Sports Office (DSO) zonal inter-school shooting competition by winning the gold medal on Friday. He triumphed in the boys U-14 air pistol event at the Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak Air Rifle Shooting Club, Dadar.
Inspired by Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang’s feat, Rajendra, son of a taxi driver, dreamt of taking up shooting and his wish was fulfilled four months ago when DSO officials decided to allow BMC school children to participate in tournaments conducted by them. That’s when the school authorities selected children and took them to the nearby Maharashtra Rifle Association (MRA) range in Worli.
“I came to Mumbai three years ago from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh where I used to play with my friends by making a circle in a drum, take aim and hit the drum with pebbles. I dreamt of taking up shooting, but had no clue how to go about it,” said Rajendra.
“Mumbai is indeed a city of dreams for me. It’s here that my shooting dreams became a reality. Now, I want to win medals for my country like Gagan Narang,” said the Class VII student.
Narrating his experience of his first visit to the MRA range, Rajendra said, “While walking near MRA, I saw people coming in big cars carrying equipment. When I actually got to enter the MRA range, I had no clue that it would be a bigger version of what I experienced in my village where I hit various targets with help of pebbles. Here, it was with pistols. These few months have been really good. First, I won the district shooting event and then, the division title. Now, I want to win the gold at the state event.”
Sushma Aher, the teacher who accompanied the BMC participants for the competition said, “Rajendra is an extremely talented kid. He is good in studies and now doing well in shooting. I am not surprised that he won gold in the division event.
“He just needed a platform to showcase his skills and today he has made complete use of his opportunities. Rajendra is an inspiration to many kids in his locality.” Meanwhile, his schoolmates Amzad Shaikh and Vinay Patil won silver and bronze respectively.
Other DSO shooting results:
Air Rifle Peep Sight:
B-U-14: 1. Darshan Lohima, 2. Querenius Mendonsa;
G-U-14: 1. Yashika Shinde, 2. Bhargavi Kasar;
Open Sight Air Rifle:
B-U-14: 1. Aryaman M N, 2. Farhan Mistry; G-U-14: 1. Sukhmani, 2. Akanksha Shinde; Air Pistol G-U-14: 1. Sayli Yadav, 2. Alpana Singla; Air Rifle Peep Sight: B-U-17: 1. Divij Ghorpade, 2. Aashay Bhare; G-U- 17: 1. Gargi Sirsat, 2. Gayatri Pawaskar; Open Sight Air Rifle:
B-U-17: 1. Mahin Gadkari, 2. Soham Salunkhe; G-U- 17: 1. Tanisha Shekhar, 2. Ipshita Jadhav; Air Pistol:
B-U-17: 1. Mudit Hirbhagat, 2. Angad Arneja; G-U-17: 1 Asmita Bhanage, 2. Ramasha K;
Air Rifle Peep Sight: B-U-19: 1. Sarthak Vani, 2. Sashank; G-U-19: 1. Rashmi Patil, 2. Trisha Mukherjee;
Open Sight Air Rifle:
B-U-19: 1. Sakshay Bartwal, 2. Shawren Ghadge; G-U-19: 1. Pravalika D, 2. Kashmir Kalsekar; Air Pistol: B-U-19: 1. Ameya Ingle, 2. Ankit Jain; G-U-19: 1. Samartha Savanekar, 2. Vidula Debar