Gangtok, 15 Jan:
Born to Sanket Agarwal and Sonia Agarwal at Singtam, Devanshi Agarwal, is 14 years old and studying at Ecole Globale International Girls School, Dehradun. She took up Air Rifle shooting sport at her school. Meet Devanshi Agarwal who made history last August at the 17th Uttrakhand Open State Shooting Championship held at Poudha. She won five gold medals and a bronze, the most by an individual. And this was only Devanshi’s second tournament.
Devanshi’s success should inspire youngsters here and also introduce the sport of shooting to the State.
The last one and half years have been wonderful for Devanshi. She bagged 17 medals - nine golds, five silvers and three bronze. Her medals came in Inter School State Championships, CBSE Nationals held in Punjab and CBSE Cluster held at Karnal.
She is the best shooter of her school and has outclassed several international participants from her school.
Devanshi gives credit for her success to Shiv Lal Dogra, her coach.
He has been a guiding force behind each sportsperson at the school, she shares.
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 introduce Devanshi to shooting. He spoke with Shiv Lal Dogra, Head of Department, Sports, at her school, trials were arranged and she has never looked back since.
Devanshi had participated in any form of shooting event until joining Ecole Globale International Girls School, so she feels very good when she looks at her recent success.
Devanshi participates in 10 meters .177 (Peep Sight) Air Rifle events.
It’s all about mental and physical strength while preparing for this particular event, she says.
She believes shooting to be a mind game; it has helped her in concentrating in studies too.
“I have learned to manage time. I get up in the morning at 5AM for my practice and after that I move ahead with my classes in the afternoons. Shooting is also challenging in a way that we have to go for many tours missing our studies after which we need to catch up by taking extra classes. Our teachers are always willing to help us in this regard,” she adds.
Her dream is to represent Sikkim at the nationals 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 did well in 10 mtrs .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 closely. She has high regard for Abinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Heena Sindhu and Jitu Rai. Each of them exchanged positive feedback, she says. “But it is her father who is my role model,” she adds.
In her words, “He is always by my side, whether I am excelling or going down at times. Because of his constant support and love, I am 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 or my grandmother Nirmala Devi Agarwal.”