Actor Sonu Sood who shot into fame last year for supporting thousands of migrants during the COVID-19 lockdown, has now helped a struggling shooter from Jharkhand with an imported rifle. The actor learned about Konica Layak, hailing from Dhanbad when she tagged him in a tweet in January.
In the tweet, Konica had stated that she had won a silver and a gold medal at the 11th Jharkhand State Rifle Shooting Championship, but she had received no help from the government. She requested the actor to help her with one rifle. Besides Sonu Sood, she had also tagged a few ministries and government officials.
Despite qualifying for Nationals on two separate occasions (2016 and 2017), Konica had to borrow rifles from her coach Rajendra Singh and friends to practice at the shooting range in ISM Dhanbad. According to The Telegraph, the actor had responded to her tweet in March and assured her she would soon get a rifle.
Sonu Sood Foundation pitched in
She could not have her own rifle as it cost around Rs 3 lakh, and hence she had to rely on her coach and friends. She had acquired a loan of ₹ 1 lakh and also arranged ₹ 80,000 from her friends. The Sonu Sood Foundation, which has helped thousands of people last year, arranged for the remaining funds required for the Germany-made rifle. She had placed an order back in March. On June 27, the rifle finally reached Konica, as reported by NDTV.
The 26-year-old shooter took to Twitter to thank the actor. "Sir, my rifle is here. A wave of happiness has spread in my family, and the whole village is blessing you," she wrote in Hindi and tagged Sonu Sood. He responded to her tweet and wrote, "India's gold medal in the Olympics is confirmed. We just need prayers now."
The future ahead
She can now practice in her own time. She hopes to get admission to the Joydeep Karmakar Shooting Academy at Kolkata to improve her skills and hunt for medals at national and international levels. The Dhanbad based shooter had qualified at the National Shooting Championship at Pune in 2016 and the national competition in Kerala in 2017 but could not bag any medals. However, she has been winning medals regularly at the Jharkhand State Rifle Shooting Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2021 in the 10 metres and 50 metres distances.