Wakad Girl Appeals Maharashtra Government To Reinstate Indoor Shooting Practice

Sohini Shooter Wakad
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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, September 12, 2020: While the Maharashtra State government has allowed the resumption of five sports- golf, tennis, outdoor shooting, mallakhamb and outdoor badminton from August 5, the 50 m shooting range at Guns for Glory, located in Balewadi, finally witnessed some action after five months of lockdown.

However, many sports have still not been permitted due to the ongoing pandemic. Sohini Ganguly, a 10 m air rifle shooter from Wakad, who has qualified for trial matches conducted for national squad selection and has won Gold in Senior Category after competing with European and Asian countries, is worried as 10 m shooting range is still not being allowed for practice.

Sohini’s practice has been affected because the guidelines only allow 50 m and 25 m shooting ranges to reopen, whereas she is a 10 m range player. “I have started working out more than before now, but my rifle shooting practice has fallen back because of the COVID imposed lockdown. All other rifle sports have been allowed. I have not even gotten the chance to use my rifle for practice in the last 5 months. COVID situation is global now, but the logic behind 50 m range to be allowed and 10 m range not being allowed does not cross my understanding”, Sohini told Punekarnews.in.

All the ranges, including 25 m and 50 m, are opened, according to the Maharashtra State government, 10 m shooting falls under indoor activity. However, 10 m shooting is as safe as 50 m or 25 m because the players have their rifles, and only one person is allowed to use the range at a time, informed GFG director Pawan Singh.

In this regard, Singh also proposed a plea to CM Uddhav Thackeray requesting to start 10 m ranges as well, but the plea was rejected. When asked why, Singh said, “This is due to inadequate knowledge of the game that the plea was rejected.”

Singh added, “Olympics are going to be conducted so players like Sohini who are practising in Maharashtra State will have to stay strong and hope for the range to reopen by the Government’s order.”

It seems that the wait will be longer for players like Sohini who are willing to compete for the Olympics. “I have not lost hope yet. I have disconnected my social media, and I am training myself even harder. I am still working on my stance, and I hope to make India prouder”, she informed.