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.
Chandroâs death was condoled by many on social media. Conveying his condolences, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri called Chandro the âepitome of gender equality and champion of womenâs rights.â
An epitome of gender equality & champion of womenâs rights Smt Chandro Tomar, known as âShooter Dadiâ 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. pic.twitter.com/mhvOaGjAZIâ Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 30, 2021
Actors Tapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar also expressed their sadness at Chandroâs death, after playing the role of âShooter Dadiâ and her sister-in-law Prakashi on screen. âYou will live on forever in all the girls you gave hope to live,â Tapsee said, while sharing a picture of herself with Chandro.
For the inspiration you will always be...â taapsee pannu (@taapsee) April 30, 2021
You will live on forever in all the girls you gave hope to live. My cutest rockstar May the â and peace be with you â¤ď¸ pic.twitter.com/4823i5jyeP
Recalling Chandro as an inspiration for women everywhere for breaking away from traditions, Bhumi Pednekar wrote, âShe made her own rules & paved the path for many girl to find their dream. Her legacy will live on in them.â
Devastated by the news of Chandro Dadiâs 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 #ChandroTomar #ShooterDadiâ bhumi pednekar (@bhumipednekar) April 30, 2021
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)