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Indian Grandmother Oldest Competitive Shooting Champion at 78

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March 30, 2012

Indian Grandmother Oldest Competitive Shooting Champion at 78

By Phil Bourjaily

The story of Chandro Tomar, India’s oldest competitive shooting champion, came to my attention thanks to Chad Love, and it’s a great story that gets better the more I find out about it. At 78, Tomar has been winning air rifle and pistol competitions in India for a decade after accompanying her daughter to the local outdoor shooting club in her poor village.

There Chandro tried a pistol for the first time and immediately attracted the attention of the coach, who encouraged her to shoot. She went on, practicing weekly and working on her hand-eye coordination by throwing rocks at bottles when she wasn’t shooting. She has gone on to win 25 national championships.

It turns out Chandro is just one of the two shooting “Dadis” (grandmothers) in the village. Her sister-in-law, Prakasho Tomar, started shooting with her and has won competitions throughout India, too. Beginning their shooting careers as 68 and 60-year-old grandmothers, Chandro and Prokasho had to fight for acceptance. Prokasho recalls hiding behind walls and cars in the village to practice so she would not be seen and ridiculed. And, when that practice paid off, men sometimes refused to share the awards podium with the Dadis, and some wouldn’t shoot against them at all. The two are slowing down with age and don’t shoot as much as they used to, and their only regret is that they started late in life.

The story keeps getting better, because the village gun club where the Dadis began shooting is one of about 20 in Uttar Pradesh, the heart of India’s “gun country.” In 1998, Dr. Rajpal Singh, a doctor in Delhi, started the shooting club with the idea of getting kids away from crime and into a constructive activity: target shooting. Clubs spread throughout Utter Pradesh. Many of the shooters find jobs in politics and the military, and the region now produces India’s best shooters, including Seema Tomar, Prokasho’s daughter and India’s top international trapshooter.

Comments (18)

Top Rated
All Comments
from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

That's a pretty neat story.

Makes you wonder what talents people have and don't even know it. That's why everyone should be open to trying new things.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Man, I wonder what they're taking for vitamins and eating over there! 78, no glasses, no shakes and shooting lights out. If we can find out maybe we can patent it and make a million :) No wonder the young studs are jealous, being out shot by a couple of old grannies must be pretty embarrassing :( It's bad enough when an old fart like Petzal does it!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I can understand being embarrassed to get your ass whooped by a granny, but to refuse to even compete?

No guts........

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I hear you, Zermoid. Just like the ex-Seal dude on Top Shot who picked up his marbles and went home, rather than not being numero uno.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Good for you Grandma! GUNS the common denominator shall bring the free together!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I notice that she shoots with one eye closed, like I do. Maybe there is hope for me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

India has the largest population of a democratic form of government. I wonder what the gun laws are like.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

mike55, that would be curry,coconut milk and no beef.
Hard to patent and live by, specially the no beef part.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

This is great. Seems like a lot of Indian men can't stomach the fact that women often are better shots when they get any sort of training and opportunity either.

That's right boys, this lady can probably still out shoot you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quinton Schmelz... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I've known many Hindi people, (we lived in a Hindi community in Fiji) I tell you, there are many of them who lived to an old age with excellent health. I watched Aja (grandfather in the dialect they spoke) out in the field tying up the cows, with no cane, at the age of 74. Their food is amazing, something I could eat every day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I need one of those air pistols. Does anyone know what she is shooting? Is there a rule that you have to use one hand? I always shoot with two. Of course I don't know
ANYTHING about competitive shooting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Lord, if you have me live that long, please grant me the ability to see and hit the target half as well as Chandro Tomar.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Her eyes are good because, she doesn't have to stare at a computer screen 8hours+ a day and then blog on F&S at night rather then watch TV.

Our scopes, sites, modern technology is slowly destroying the senses that it was designed to augment. Did you ever notice that when hunting, when it is cold and raining the guys with the best insulated hunting gear are the first to call it quits? Life at times is just one big ironic circle. I think the hope for our outdoor sport(s) (in about 50 years) is not in more and better technology, lures and rifles, it will return to less technology and more game. In the end it isn't about the game, its about the hunt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Everybody knows you don't mess with granny.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Ricardo, I hear you on the beef part, dang! Speaking of curry and this is getting off subject, I'm quite acutely chemically sensitive and the smell of some spices bothers me, and curry is one of them. Looked at a used car that was owned by a Hindi couple. When I got in it the smell of curry about knocked me over. They must buy it by the bag load the way the car smelled! Here's another one to think about. A comment that struck me was made by a MD from a world renowned clinic that I met at a funeral. We both have Lyme Dis., he for a short while and me for about 4 decades before we had a proper diagnosis. We were naturally talking about health issues when he stated that in the U.S. we have a mix of many different races, which kind of corrupts the gene pool leaving us open to many ailments we might not have experienced here regardless of diet and other health related short comings. He may be on to something there, never heard anything like that before.

Captjim, especially when she pulls out her double barrel side-by-side or when she starts swingin' her 10lb. cast iron fry pan, usually aimed at Jethro!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Should have said, "regardless of diet and other health related short comings if we were of a monolithic race." Hope that's the right term for one race or am I thinking of bullets here? Also write and type like a caveman and about as fast! Might blog more if I was better with a keyboard.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Do you have any idea how rock steady you have to be with a air rifle and pistol?

Imagine if she shot 22 or High Power?

WOW!

UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Salas wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Awsome, You are never too old to do something if you put your mind to it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from OutdoorEnvy wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

That's a pretty neat story.

Makes you wonder what talents people have and don't even know it. That's why everyone should be open to trying new things.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Man, I wonder what they're taking for vitamins and eating over there! 78, no glasses, no shakes and shooting lights out. If we can find out maybe we can patent it and make a million :) No wonder the young studs are jealous, being out shot by a couple of old grannies must be pretty embarrassing :( It's bad enough when an old fart like Petzal does it!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Good for you Grandma! GUNS the common denominator shall bring the free together!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I can understand being embarrassed to get your ass whooped by a granny, but to refuse to even compete?

No guts........

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I notice that she shoots with one eye closed, like I do. Maybe there is hope for me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckstopper wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

India has the largest population of a democratic form of government. I wonder what the gun laws are like.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ricardo Rodríguez wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

mike55, that would be curry,coconut milk and no beef.
Hard to patent and live by, specially the no beef part.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Lord, if you have me live that long, please grant me the ability to see and hit the target half as well as Chandro Tomar.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Her eyes are good because, she doesn't have to stare at a computer screen 8hours+ a day and then blog on F&S at night rather then watch TV.

Our scopes, sites, modern technology is slowly destroying the senses that it was designed to augment. Did you ever notice that when hunting, when it is cold and raining the guys with the best insulated hunting gear are the first to call it quits? Life at times is just one big ironic circle. I think the hope for our outdoor sport(s) (in about 50 years) is not in more and better technology, lures and rifles, it will return to less technology and more game. In the end it isn't about the game, its about the hunt.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from duckcreekdick wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I hear you, Zermoid. Just like the ex-Seal dude on Top Shot who picked up his marbles and went home, rather than not being numero uno.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

This is great. Seems like a lot of Indian men can't stomach the fact that women often are better shots when they get any sort of training and opportunity either.

That's right boys, this lady can probably still out shoot you.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Quinton Schmelz... wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I've known many Hindi people, (we lived in a Hindi community in Fiji) I tell you, there are many of them who lived to an old age with excellent health. I watched Aja (grandfather in the dialect they spoke) out in the field tying up the cows, with no cane, at the age of 74. Their food is amazing, something I could eat every day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

I need one of those air pistols. Does anyone know what she is shooting? Is there a rule that you have to use one hand? I always shoot with two. Of course I don't know
ANYTHING about competitive shooting.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Captjim wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Everybody knows you don't mess with granny.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Ricardo, I hear you on the beef part, dang! Speaking of curry and this is getting off subject, I'm quite acutely chemically sensitive and the smell of some spices bothers me, and curry is one of them. Looked at a used car that was owned by a Hindi couple. When I got in it the smell of curry about knocked me over. They must buy it by the bag load the way the car smelled! Here's another one to think about. A comment that struck me was made by a MD from a world renowned clinic that I met at a funeral. We both have Lyme Dis., he for a short while and me for about 4 decades before we had a proper diagnosis. We were naturally talking about health issues when he stated that in the U.S. we have a mix of many different races, which kind of corrupts the gene pool leaving us open to many ailments we might not have experienced here regardless of diet and other health related short comings. He may be on to something there, never heard anything like that before.

Captjim, especially when she pulls out her double barrel side-by-side or when she starts swingin' her 10lb. cast iron fry pan, usually aimed at Jethro!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mike55 wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Should have said, "regardless of diet and other health related short comings if we were of a monolithic race." Hope that's the right term for one race or am I thinking of bullets here? Also write and type like a caveman and about as fast! Might blog more if I was better with a keyboard.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Do you have any idea how rock steady you have to be with a air rifle and pistol?

Imagine if she shot 22 or High Power?

WOW!

UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Salas wrote 1 year 37 weeks ago

Awsome, You are never too old to do something if you put your mind to it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment