Veteran shooter Chandro Tomar, popularly known as 'shooter dadi’, passed away on Friday due to COVID-19. She was 89.
A symbol of women empowerment, she was admitted to a hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut earlier this week after complaining of breathing difficulty. Soon, she was tested positive for the coronavirus that is taking over 3,000 lives per day in the country.
"Mera saath chhoot gaya, Chandro kaha chali gayi (She has left me, Chandro where have you gone?)," her sister-in-law Prakashi Tomar, who is also one of the oldest female sharp shooters in the world like Chandro, wrote on her Twitter page.
She is believed to be the oldest woman sharp shooter in the world. She took part in several competitions along with her sister Prakashi, also one of the oldest female sharp shooters in the world.
Tomar took to shooting at a late age of 65 and won over 30 national championships and numerous other competitions in her career. Hailing from the Baghpat village in Uttar Pradesh, the lives of Chandro and Prakashi even inspired a Bollywood movie.
While the men at home objected to their shooting, they were helped by their sons, daughters-in-law and granddaughters as they would quietly sneak out of the house to practice the sport in a nearby range. Once she got hooked on to the sport, there was no looking back as she went on to win medals at numerous competitions, all coming when Chandro was well into her 60s.
Shooter Dadi won many awards in senior citizen category including Stri Shakti Sanman presented by the President of India himself. She had picked up a rifle by chance, after a younger member in the family expressed her interest in enrolling herself at a newly-built shooting range in their village.
Accompanying their daughter to the range, one day they picked up the gun, pulled the trigger, took a shot and impressed the coach in range.