By Girish Kumar Dubey
Varanasi, Apr 4 : Teenaged sharp shooter Dipika Patel from Varanasi is doing Uttar Pradesh proud with her superb marksmanship, as she is poised to participate in an international shooting competition to be held at Sulh in Germany later this month.
Dipika is an ardent acolyte of the likes of ace shooters Bhuvaneshwari (daughter of Maharaja Karni Singh of Bikaner), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee Anjali Bhagwat and Sima Sirur and wants to make a mark in the sport.
Dipika, 16, will participate in the under-18 Category shooting competition to be held from April 28 to May 4.
The opportunity to participate at an international level competition has lent her an effective platform bringing her closer to her dream of participating in the Olympics.
"This is just the beginning. I will be trying to make it to the Olympics as well and make my country proud of me," said Dipika.
A 12th standard student and a resident of Awsan Ganj, Dipika started shooting at the tender age of eight years. She has been participating in various national shooting competitions on a regular basis.
She had participated in five consecutive national championships, winning an individual bronze at Hyderabad (2005) and team bronze at Ahmedabad (2007-08).
Dipika is practicing vigorously and has also constructed a ten-meter long shooting range on the terrace and practices for two hours everyday.
The proud parents of the teenage shooter have been encouraging her to the hilt and feel that girls are no less than boys in performance.
"We do not differentiate between our son and daughter. We would like everyone to treat their daughters with pride as they bring honour to the family. I am extremely proud of her and cannot express my joy in words," said Pradeep Singh Patel, Dipika's father.
The ace shooter is determined to hit the bull's eye.