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‘Shooter Dadi’ Chandro Tomar dies due to COVID-19

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New Delhi: Octogenarian shooter Chandro Tomar, who became the oldest woman sharp shooter in the world after taking up the sport in her 60s, died on Friday after battling COVID-19.

She was 89 and was being treated at a hospital in Meerut since April 26.

“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, wrote on her Twitter page.

Tomar was hospitalised after complaining of difficulty in breathing. Tests revealed she had contracted the highly contagious virus that is causing over 3,000 deaths daily in the country.

Hailing from the Baghpat village in Uttar Pradesh, Tomar was 60-plus when she picked up the gun for the first time but went on to win many national competitions for veterans, her feats ultimately inspiring the award-winning Bollywood movie ‘Saand ki Aankh’.

Well-known people from various walks of life condoled her death, including actor Bhumi Pednekar, who played her in the biopic.

“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,” Pednekar tweeted.

India’s 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.”

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