Navnath Fartade 24 years
Whenever Navnath Fartade went to Charhata village in Beed district to meet his parents and told his folks and other villagers he was learning shooting, they thought he was aiming for the big screen.
Fartade did not bother to correct them or educate them about his trade till one day in 2006 he came back home from Croatia with the title of junior world champion in 10m air rifle.
Son of a farm labourer, Fartade’s life changed when he was picked under the Maharashtra government’s Krida Prabodhini scheme in 1999.
He was enrolled in the Kolhapur centre and hasn’t looked back ever since. Soon after winning the world crown, the youngster was offered a job by the Directorate of Sports in Pune and the 24-year-old ensured he did not let go of the opportunity.
“My parents used to stay in a shanty till I got this job. That was motivation enough to work hard. Now, I have built a house for them and they don't have to work anymore,” he says.
On the shooting front, Fartade, however, took time to adjust to the pressures of the senior circuit.
“That period is behind me. I am beginning to shoot with the same confidence now and my scores in practice are a testimony to that.
“I am confident I can once again start challenging the best in the business in the coming season,” he adds.