I am a feminist. Yes, you heard it right.

If you have profiled me as a 34-year-old India male, most of your ideas about me will be challenged by one statement.

I am a product of a patriarchal setup but have always been a big believer in rights and opportunities. As a youngster, I had to struggle for my opportunities, wait for the right breaks. If I had to struggle for opportunities as much as I did while growing up, I often wonder what it took for the ones who fought for their rights. And here I talk about the right to own one’s gender and shape oneself into a successful individual, by making one’s way through a road fraught with obstacles.

As an only child, growing up in a middle-class Indian family, to working-class parents, I have seen the hard road my mother had to navigate. I have even seen and heard my female friends in the corporate and sporting ladder having to strike a hard bargain for opportunities.

I would not give you a rosy picture by saying that things have changed, the society has become better. But let me tell you in my sport of shooting there is a level playing field today. Often the women are outperforming men.

I have used my life’s learnings to run Gun for Glory. And it isn’t just my learnings that form the foundation, but a few other pillars too. One of them is Pawan Singh, the coach and mentor. Together we have ensured no bias, no discrimination. If there is one thing at least that we have got right is this!

And let me break the news to you- in the Khelo India School Games, 12 Kids participated from Gun For Glory; 4 boys and 8 girls.

These kids, barely seventeen years of age, are being brought up with the ideas and ideals of an equal society.

Which is why my heart is full of hope today. And I can tell you that you will hear these names more often in the future:

  1. Esha Singh

*Project Leap shooter from GFG Trimulgherry

*Selected in Indian National Squad in 10M Air Pistol Youth Women.

 

  1. Anushka Patil

*Project Leap shooter from Maharashtra

*Selected in Indian National Squad in 10M Air Pistol Youth Women.

*Gold Medalist in SGFI (School Games Federation of India)

 

  1. Varidhi Gore

*GFG Pune

* Equalled the score of GV Mavalankar (Pre National) in 10M Pistol

 

  1. Smit Vadhaiya

*SAG Ahmedabad centre

 

  1. Rushirajsingh Jadeja

*SAG Ahmedabad centre

 

  1. Somabhai Dungaisa

*SAG Baroda centre

 

  1. Prachi Panchal

*SAG Ahmedabad centre

 

  1. Heena Gohel

*SAG Rajkot centre

*Selected in Indian National Squad in 10M Air Rifle Youth Women.

 

  1. Sanskriti Bhalara

*SAG Rajkot centre

 

10.Keval Prajapati

*SAG Ahmedabad centre

 

  1. Janvi Uteriya

*SAG Rajkot centre

 

  1. Muskan Kacholiya

*SAG Academy Baroda

None of them returned with medals this time, but four of the girls and one boy made to the finals.  I am happy to announce that we have built a huge repository of talent. While some of them have leaped into Project leap, the others are still striving for excellence. As a shooter and a mentor, I always wish the one word that defines their life and career is, ‘excellent’.
  By Gagan Narang