A lot of upcoming shooters from the hamlets of Uttar Pradesh including Seema Tomar, silver medal winner at Dorset World Cup, owe their success to Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi as the MP from Amethi donated his pistols for their training.
Rahul, who trained under Dr Raj Pal before leaving for political shores, gave two of his air pistols to his coach and the gesture proved quite beneficial for several promising shooters.
Since then, Raj Pal has been training aspiring shooters at his institute in Johadi village in the Baghpat district of UP.
Tomar, who initially trained with Rahul's pistol, has not met him yet but wants to personally thank him, besides requesting him for more help in providing better infrastructure and facilities for sportspersons.
"There are six MPs among the present lot who have received training from me and Rahul is the wisest of them, as he not only donated his pistols for others to train but also asked me to work on creating conducive atmosphere for the development of to the game, especially in his constituency, Amethi," Raj Pal told PTI.
As of now, Raj Pal has four pistols of which one has been donated by Jayant Singh, RLD MP from Mathura, and another one by his disciple Sunita Singh who went on to become an IPS officer in 1996. Raj Pal, who is a superintendent in a Delhi hospital and is due to retire next year, said he has selected some girls from the Amethi region for training.
He said amongst the lot, three girls have done him proud. "Ruchi Singh has got junior Olympic quota. Mahajbeen Bano has got admission in the prestigious St. Stephen's and along with Varchika Singh, these three are in the junior team of Air India," said a proud Raj Pal, adding that all three hail from various villages of Amethi.
Raj Pal added that during his last meeting with the young Gandhi scion, he had advised him not to set up a shooting range in Amethi until a congenial atmosphere prevailed.
"As of now we are working towards honing the talent of the local talents belonging to Amethi by brining them to Johadi. This sport ensures job security and secure future," he claimed.