Learning is a continuous process and a true learner always looks for opportunities to learn from anybody and everybody. People learn from their experiences. They learn from their success, failure, achievements, and disappointment in life. From the time we are born till our death we learn. First, you learn walking, then speaking and then writing. There is learning in every stage of your life. There are many 50s and 60s people who are pursuing their dreams at this age.

Chandro Tomar, nicknamed Shooter Dadi is an octogenarian shooter from a village named Johri in Baghpat District in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. She started to learn shooting in 1999 when she was already in her 60s. She was illiterate but a learner when it comes to sharpshooting. Initially, her husband neither opposed nor supported her for shooting, who now proudly encourages her along with the whole family.

By chance, she began shooting. Her granddaughter Shefali wanted to learn shooting but was afraid to go alone in an all-boys shooting club and wanted her grandmother to support her. At the range, she took a pistol and started shooting when Shefali couldn’t load the pistol. Her first shot was a bull’s eye. The club coach, Farooq Pathan, was stunned to see her shoot so effortlessly. He suggested her to join the club and become a professional shooter. She used to attend the club once a week and other days after dinner was served, she used to practice in her private range. She used to get up at 4 in the morning and went for practice. Her family didn’t know about this. She was scared if anyone came to know about it. One day her photo was published in the local newspaper and everybody got to know about her shooting practice. They didn’t support her. People started making fun of her. She didn’t listen to anyone. Prakashi Tomar, her sister, was inspired by her and she also started to shoot. They gave courage to each other and fought against society. They did what they wanted to do. Once they started getting positions in competitions, everyone was proud of them. Nobody questioned them after that.

Shooting runs in their family as noted from the fact that Seema Tomar, also a sharpshooter, was the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Rifle and Pistol World Cup in 2010. Even Shefali Tomar achieved international shooter status and has taken part in international competitions in Hungary and Germany, both of them credit Tomar for the positive encouragement provided and praised her sister Prakashi Tomar for advising them.

Since 1999, Chandro Tomar competed in and won many national championships throughout India. She won a gold medal at the Veteran Shooting Championship conducted in Chennai. Her success has encouraged the local people to take up shooting as a useful sporting profession, including her granddaughters. Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar are the world’s oldest sharpshooters. They had a lot of courage to face the patriarchal society. They made their family and the whole country proud.

They proved that learning has no age limit.

They inspired a lot of girls in their village to pursue shooting as their career. They inspired many old aged people to live their life as they want to and not think about what people would say or think. Learning is something that is not confined to an age barrier.

She rightly said- “Shareer budha hota hai, par man budha nahi hota” (The body gets old, not the mind).

You should learn from everything around you. One should never stop learning. If one stops learning new things then there will be no motivation in life.

So, never stop learning.


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