Chandro, who took up shooting with her sister-in-law Prakashi in her 60s, is hailed for breaking away from societal norms.

Chandro Tomar in a cream coloured shirt, holding a pistol in her right handTwitter/ Dadi Chandro Tomar
Coronavirus Death Friday, April 30, 2021 - 18:10

Octogenarian shooter Chandro Tomar, nicknamed 'Shooter Dadi', died on Friday after battling COVID-19. The 89-year-old was admitted to a hospital in Meerut earlier this week, after complaining of difficulty in breathing. "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.

Hailing from the Baghpat village in Uttar Pradesh, Tomar was already 60-plus when she picked up the gun for the first time but went on to win many national competitions, even inspiring a Bollywood movie on her life. The 2019 film Saand Ki Aankh, starring Bhumi Pednekar as Chandro and Tapsee Pannu as Prakashi, showed the inspiring story of the women who both discovered their shooting skills in their 60s.

Chandro’s death was condoled by many on social media. Conveying his condolences, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri called Chandro the “epitome of gender equality and champion of women’s rights.”

Actors Tapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar also expressed their sadness at Chandro’s death, after playing the role of ‘Shooter Dadi’ and her sister-in-law Prakashi on screen. “You will live on forever in all the girls you gave hope to live,” Tapsee said, while sharing a picture of herself with Chandro.

Recalling Chandro as an inspiration for women everywhere for breaking away from traditions, Bhumi Pednekar wrote, “She made her own rules & paved the path for many girl to find their dream. Her legacy will live on in them.”

India on Friday recorded over 3 lakh COVID-19 cases for the ninth consecutive day. The country reported 3,86,442 cases, with 3,498 deaths due to the coronavirus. The massive surge in cases has resulted in a shortage of oxygen and beds in hospitals across the country, as well as a high load at cemeteries and crematoria.

(With PTI inputs)

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