Despite a meagre income, Ahmedabad-based auto-rickshaw driver has gifted his 27-year-old daughter, who is a national-level shooter, a German-made rifle worth Rs 5 lakh, a corpus he had kept aside for her marriage.
Manilal Gohil, 50, took the decision to spend his life saving to ensure Mittal pursues her passion for shooting and makes India proud by winning medals in national and international championships.
"Mittal has been taking part in various championships ever since she took on shooting as a hobby in 2012. Since we could not afford a rifle, she used to borrow it from other shooters or from the Rifle Club. But, I realised that she needed a top-class rifle of her own to fetch medals in national and international championships," Gohil said.
Gohil, who lives with his family including Mittal and two sons at a chawl in Gomtipur area of city, earns around Rs 500 per day by plying auto-rickshaw on city roads.
He gets support from one of his sons Jainish, who is into cable network business.
"Just like every father, I had been saving money for Mittal's wedding. But, I realised that she needs a rifle to perform better. Thus, I decided to use that savings to buy a 50-meter range German-made rifle, which cost Rs 5 lakh. As a father, it is my duty to ensure that my daughter does not face any difficulty in pursuing her passion," said Gohil.
Mittal got attracted to shooting when she and her had father passed by the Rifle Club in Khanpur area of city in 2012 and saw people practising there. She was then enrolled in the club and started the practice.
Though Gohil knew that shooting was an expensive hobby to pursue, he never stopped her daughter from going ahead with it and promised to do everything possible.
"After just some months of practice, Mittal took part in the 57th All-India National Shooting Championships in 2013 and won a bronze medal in the team event along with fellow shooters Anju Sharma and Lajja Goswami," said Gohil.
According to him, Mittal borrowed Lajja's rifle in that event.
"She won gold medals in district and state level championships using an India-made rifle given to her by the Rifle Club. In that national event, she borrowed Lajja's high-tech rifle and won bronze, as her own rifle malfunctioned at the last moment," Gohil said.