Fri. Feb 21st, 2020

Devanshi Agarwal: Sikkim’s shooting sensation

Born to Sanket Agarwal and Sonia Agarwal at Singtam, she is 14 years old and studying at Ecole Globale International Girl’s School, Dehradun.

Unlike her father and her grandfather Raghubir Agarwal, both an accomplished businessmen; she took up Air Rifle shooting sport at her school at Dehradun. Meet Devanshi Agarwal who made history last August in 17th Uttrakhand Open State Shooting Championship 2018 held at Poudha. She went on to win five gold medals and a bronze medal, a most by any individual.

Believe me it was Devanshi’s second tournament she had participated.
Despite being a sensation at her game, shooting event is rarely heard in Sikkim. Success story of Devanshi should inspire the youngsters of our state into this sporting event. She is a winner at her teens, who knows she could be the next big thing to watch at a national level or even at an International circle.

The last one and half year had been a wonderful spell for Devanshi. She had bagged 17 medals that include nine gold, five silver and three bronze. Her medals had come at Inter School State Championships, CBSE Nationals held at Punjab and CBSE Cluster held at Karnal. She is the best shooter of her school and in her win she had outclassed several International participants from her school.

Devanshi gives credit of her success to Shiv Lal Dogra, her coach. He had been a guiding force behind each sport-players of the school, she tells. After completing her early schooling at East Point SSS, Singtam and Holy Cross School, Gangtok she joined Ecole Globale International Girl’s School, Dehradun in 2017. It was her father’s idea to take Devanshi into Shooting. He spoked with Shiv Lal Dogra, Head of Department, Sports of her school. Trails were arranged and thereafter she never looked back. Devanshi tells she never had participated in any form of shooting events before joining Ecole Globale International Girl’s School, so she feels very good when she look into her recent success.

Devanshi participates at 10 meters .177 (Peep Sight) Air Rifle events. The Air Rifle used for the competition is 4.8 kilogram and .177, the calibre of the pellets. The distance between the rifle and the target is 10 meter; to add the participants need to wear a leather dress that weighs around 5 kg in order to balance the weight of the body with that of a rifle. It’s all about mental strength and physical strength being the major challenge while preparing for this particular event, she says.

She believes shooting being a mind game; it helped her in concentrating in the studies too. I have learned to manage time. I get up in the morning at 5 am for my practice and after that I move ahead for my classes in the afternoon. Shooting is also challenging in a way that we have to go for many tours missing our studies after which we need to cope up by taking extra classes. Our teachers are always willing to help us in this regard, she further added.
Her dream is to represent Sikkim at National levels once an association is formed by the State Government and then to represent India in Asian Games and other international events. Devanshi recalls Tusitta Rai, another girl from Sikkim who is also doing wonder at 10 mts .177 (Peep Sight) Air Pistol at National Inter School Competition. She believes gradually the sport will have a promising growth in the state too.

She follows national shooting champions a lot. She has high regards for Abinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Heena Sindhu and Jitu Rai. Each of them had exchanged positive feedbacks, she says. But it is her father whom she considers her role model. In her words she tells, he is always by my side, whether I am excelling or gradually going down at time, because of his constant support and love this is where I am today, proudly known as a National Level shooter. It is all because of my Dad and my family’s constant support. Everybody inspires me a lot in some way or the other way, be it my lovely mother Sonia Agarwal and my grandmother Nirmala Devi Agarwal, she added.

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