The per­fect aim Dola Ban­er­jee, 33, Archer

India Today - - COVER STORY -

She’s prob­a­bly one of the most so­cially un­avail­able per­son at the mo­ment, but that doesn’t con­cern her. Dola Ban­er­jee, can barely get a breather as she’s busy re­hears­ing for the Asian Games, held in Oc­to­ber this year. There was a time when this gold medal­list ( Com­mon­wealth Games, 2010) found archery bor­ing. “I en­roled in an archery club in Baranga­gar when I was nine years old. That time, they’d only give us some ex­er­cises and let us help the se­niors. It was too fo­cused on tech­nique, and since I wasn’t get­ting to shoot, I found it very bor­ing,” she re­mem­bers. In 1989, Ban­er­jee par­tic­i­pated in a statelevel sub- ju­nior cham­pi­onship and won a bronze. “That is how I got hooked to archery,” she says. Ban­er­jee was never aca­dem­i­cally in­clined, but luck­ily she had her par­ents sup­port. But she didn’t think of play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally un­til she was em­ployed by Tata Steel. De­spite all her achieve­ment, life hasn’t been easy. Her fam­ily has stopped ex­pect­ing her to at­tend fam­ily func­tions, she ad­mits. But there’s a sil­ver lin­ing too. Her younger brother Rahul Ban­er­jee, also an Ar­juna Award win­ner in archery, is al­ways around in the same train­ing camp, giv­ing her com­pany. “At least we have each other,” she says.

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