Octogenarian shooter Chandro Tomar, fondly known as ‘Shooter Dadi’ died on Friday due to COVID-19 at a hospital in Meerut. She was 89. After taking up the sport in her 60s, Chandro became world’s oldest woman sharp shooter.
“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, tweeted.
Tomar was admitted in hospital on April 26 after she complained of difficulty in breathing. She was then found COVID-19 positive.
Facts to know about Shooter Dadi
-Tomar was an octogenarian sharp shooter from the village of Johri in the Bagpat district of Uttar Pradesh.
-Tomar picked up the gun for the first time in her 60s. She went on to win several national competitions for veterans.
-Shooter Dadi was considered a feminist icon. She got married at 15 and took to shooting when she was well over 65.
-Tomar once visited a shooting club with her grand-daughter, who expressed a desire to pursue to sport. She picked up the gun and successfully hit the bull’s eye, leaving the club coach impressed.
-She took part in many competitions along with her sister-in-law Prakashi.
-Saand Ki Aankh is based on her life. Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu played the roles of Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar, respectively.
Celebs offer condolences
People from various fraternities condoled her death, including actor Akshay Kumar and Virendra Sehwag.
“Dadi Chandro Tomar was the coolest Dadi and an inspiration for many. My condolences to her family and well wishers. Om Shanti Dadi,” tweeted cricket icon Virender Sehwag.
“Never met #ShooterDadi but could feel the warmth in her tweets whenever we interacted. Deeply saddened to learn of her passing, my heartfelt condolences to the family Folded hands,” wrote Akshay Kumar.
“Devastated by the news of Chandro Dadi”s demise. Feels like a part of me is gone. She made her own rules & paved the path for many girl to find their dream. Her legacy will live on in them. Condolences to the family. Am lucky I got to know and be her,” Bhumi Pednekar tweeted.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri wrote on his official Twitter handle: “An epitome of gender equality & champion of women”s rights Smt Chandro Tomar, known as ”Shooter Dadi” by her fans & admirers is no more.”
“The courage with which she challenged patriarchy & took up shooting as a sport will inspire generations to come. Condolences to her family.”
Olympians – boxer Akhil Kumar, who personally knew Tomar, and shooter Joydeep Karmakar – also condoled her death.
“Is this corona or something else, I am having doubts now. God, please have mercy. One more tragic news.. Winner of many national awards, the free-spirited dadi ”Shooter Dadi” Chandro Tomar has lost her battle with corona. My heartfelt condolences and tributes,” Akhil wrote.
Karmakar said, “Unconsolable loss! Our beloved “Shooter Dadi” is no more! Chandro Tomar, the epitome of courage and determination for many (Sand Ki Ankh fame) breathed her last fighting Corona. May her undying spirit inspire 1000 of girls to take up sports from the remotest parts!”
Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president Deepa Malik also offered her deepest condolences.
“Your courage, deeds and life inspire many. You have taught generations to live life on your own terms with hard work & passion, may we all uphold your legacy. My deepest condolences to the family and near & dear ones of ”Shooter Dadi”,” Malik said.