CHENNAI: Even as his counterparts find it difficult to train in the ongoing lockdown, trap shooter Prithviraj Tondaiman is one of the fortunate ones to get a full-fledged practice at his private range in Avarangudipatti, Pudukottai ( Tamil Nadu ). Prithvi, who hails from Pudukottai's ruling dynasty, was in good form as he topped the men's trap Olympic trials held at New Delhi in March. Just a day before the lockdown was enforced, the 32-year-old was able to reach his hometown.
With the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) targeting July to hold a national camp for its shooters, Prithvi has little choice but to continue training in Pudukkottai. "Training at my private range is certainly a big boon and helps me stay in fine shape. While others may take some time to get going after the camp starts, it will be a little easier for me. I am trying out a few changes in my gun. I am making use of a tighter choke in my gun which will help me in precision training. These are little changes I have been trying during practice which otherwise isn't possible as we remain busy preparing for tournaments one after another," Prithvi told TOI on Wednesday.
If the first half of the day goes in pursuit of his targets, the second half is kept purely for charity work. "I am doing whatever is possible from my end for the covid-19 relief. I have made use of my personal savings, took some help from my parents and a few friends to purchase groceries and distributed them to over 350 families situated in and around the shooting range where I train. We have also provided essentials for over 2000 families across Pudukkottai district ," Prithvi said.
In a bid to reach out to more people, Prithvi has even set up a helpline. "The helpline will ensure that we reach out to people faster. Our family has spent over Rs 25 lakh in this endeavor and we hope to provide assistance to more people in the coming weeks. While the state government is doing all it can to help, as citizens it is our duty to do our bit as well," said Prithvi.