Guwahati, Jan 19 (IANS) Harshada Nithave's parents set up a small canteen in a college in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, with the sole aim of giving her a good education.
But Harshada fell in love with shooting, ringing alarm bell, at first, in the household. Her father was worried about the expensive nature of the sport and tried to dissuade her.
The cheeky lass, however, quietly practiced and went on to win gold in the inter-school nationals. The parents had no choice but to back her, working harder in the canteen and diverting all their earnings into her shooting.
On Saturday, Harshada rewarded them with a bronze in the U-21 10m air pistol mixed team event at the Khelo India Youth Games here in Guwahati. She had, of course, annexed multiple medals before that in various tournaments, underlining her talent and ambition.
"I had gone to watch shooting at an academy in Aurangabad along with my friends. On a lark, I joined the academy on a trial basis," she revealed, talking about the start of her journey.
"After just six months of practice, I won gold in the inter-school nationals and felt that I could take up the sport seriously. My father initially wasn't keen because it was an expensive game. But once I started winning, he has never stopped me from playing the sport," the 19-year-old said after starring in the individual 10m air pistol event.
Harshada's mother narrated the challenges she and her husband faced to provide shooting equipment.
"My husband and I have faced a lot of challenges to support our child's passion. But we are glad we backed her, giving her all the equipment that she needs. Our biggest dream is to see Harshada become an Olympic medallist and, for that, we are working even harder," Shraddha Nithave said.
The Maharashtra athlete has won four gold and one silver in international tournaments, including gold in the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2016 and silver in the ISSF Junior World Cup in 2019. With the infinite support of her parents, Harshada is on her way to complete not just her own dream, but that of her parents as well.