Doing Guru Drona proud

  • Barnali Dutta / FG
  • India
  • Jan 16, 2015

Photo: Prakhar Pandey

Two budding youngsters from Gurgaon, Atul and Amit, have recently bagged medals in the Under 14 category at the National Archery championships – a sport at which ancient Gurgaon was a Guru. Atul Vashist, a student of Sideshwar Senior Secondary School, is also a bright student. He initially wanted to become a cricketer, having been charmed by IPL However, his father thought Archery would be a better choice. “I love Cricket, but my father suggested that I take up Archery. Now I have set my eyes on the Olympics, Asian Games and the Archery World Cup.” he says. In 2014 he achieved First position in Mini Nationals in the Under14 category and stood Second at the 34th State-level championship. Atul seems the quintessential all-rounder - be it studies, archery or any extra-curricular activity, one learns that his concentration is impeccable.
Currently, he is preparing for both the CBSE (Board) examinations as well as the ensuing (Haryana) State level competition dubbed as the ‘Provincial Olympics’. Of course, the National accolade was a momentous occasion for him and his family. “I was astonished and speechless ...the day my son won a National Award! He made us very proud, and we want him to truly fulfill his dream,” says his delighted mother. Atul seems quite unfazed. This silent, sincere lad of 14 plans to chart out a career as a Charted Accountant. His compassionate little mind also dreams big about doing good for society. “My dream is to set up schools and hospitals for the poor,” he confides. Besides, he also wants to open an Archery academy for those who cannot afford this somewhat expensive sport. Even Atul’s father had to borrow to provide his son with the requisite equipment. Atul ‘s father is determined to give his son his wholehearted support. “I want my son to go far in life. While I do want him to become a successful archer who brings laurels for our country, I also want him to pursue his other dreams,” he says. He senses an entrepreneurial streak in his son. “His intention to become a Chartered Accountant when he grows up is not with a view to becoming a mere auditor, but to set up institutions. We are proud of his thinking on these lines,” he says.  Atul’s determination to make it big in life does not stop him from being a precocious child. Though a health freak, he loves his ‘aloo paratha and ‘matar mushroom’.

Amit Kumar, on the other hand, is not very studious. However, he is quite passionate about mastering the art of striking the ‘bull’ in Archery. Amit’s parents hail from Dumduma (Assam). Amit is a student of the Government Higher Senior Secondary School. His elder brother Mandip is a serving officer in the Air Force. He too has exhibited his prowess as an archer and won several awards. Like his elder brother, Amit too wants to win many awards for the country. Above all, he wants to represent India in all major events on the international circuit. In a candid mood he talks about his interest in mathematics and his aim in life. “I want to serve my country, by either joining the Army or Air Force – like many in my family,” he says. Amit Kumar’s father, Vajan Singh Kumar, is a retired officer of the Indian Army. He is a doting father, and has been very supportive of  his child’s first love - Archery. “I would love to see my son realise his dream,” he says. In 2014 Amit won Gold medals in Compound Archery at both the State and National level championships. “I took up the bow and arrow just three years ago, and practised in my village. My school has also been very encouraging,” he says.

While both boys and their parents are determined to succeed in their endeavour, Atul has a broader view on this. “The Government needs to be much more supportive, especially since Archery is a traditional game, “ he says. “Further, whatever laurels we are earning are not only for ourselves but also for our State and Country.”



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