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NRAI goes modular to promote shooting

The Times Of India
By Biju Cyriac, TNN


Sports Minister Ajay Maken

Sports Minister Ajay Maken takes aim at the range.

BANGALORE: Aspiring shooters in the country without access to infrastructure can now hope to find a shooting range in their neighbourhood once the National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) succeeds in its efforts to set up modular shooting ranges across the country.

“Shooting is open to kids from class VI but for those in Delhi or Bangalore it is near-impossible to get going as the SAI range is in a far-off area. The idea is to bring the range closer home so that aspiring shooters get a headstart,” NRAI official Rajiv Sethi said.

Rajiv’s firm Sportzcraft has already set up three modular shooting ranges in Delhi in the last four months and is now getting more enquiries from around the country. “We are looking at partnering schools, colleges and private bodies to set up these 10m ranges which will not only help students but also those residing in the locality. One facility can be used by around 80 children per day,” Sethi said.

A modular range, indoor and air-conditioned and with 10 firing points, can be set up in an area measuring at least 2,500 square feet and will need an investment of Rs 10-15 lakh. “We will also provide a qualified trainer. The facility will have a warm-up area and gym-area. For a beginner the monthly expense would be around Rs 1,500,” Sethi said.

Sportzcraft, which is listed as a direct affiliate to NRAI, is doing a lot of promotions online. Rajiv, a governing body member and son of senior vice-president Avtar Singh Sethi, said his firm is a no-profit venture aimed at promoting shooting. “We are not here to make money out of this. The idea is to spread the reach of the sport,” he said.

DK Shukla, one of the six secretaries of NRAI, said any private body can come forward to partner the national association to start a modular range. “Our plan is to have around 200 such ranges in the country to take the sport to the grassroots. We won’t be providing any financial help but we can assist those who are interested with all the technical expertise. Currently we are partnering sportzcraft but we welcome clubs and NGOs who are interested. If the range is set up in a school the local people can use the range after the school hours,” Shukla said.

“We are also conducting courses to churn out trainers for 10m shooting. The next trainers’ course will be held in New Delhi from October 16,” he added.

At present there are less than 10 functional ranges in the country where shooters can train.