COVID-19: 'Stay home, save lives', shooter Deepak Kumar's message

After missing out in the World Cups, Deepak Kumar bagged the Olympic quota in his last attempt at the Asian Championship in Doha.

Deepak Kumar during the 10m Air Rifle final at the Asian Games in Jakarta.   -  PTI Photo

"Save lives by staying home," is the message from the Asian Games silver medallist, shooter Deepak Kumar.

It is a rarity for him to spend time with his family at home, but he gets a chance to do so as India fights COVID-19 pandemic with a 21-day national lockdown.

He said in pursuit of success, his life was always on the move. But now it has been more than five days since he stepped out of the house.

Deepak studied at the Gurukul in Dehradun, and with his school struggling, he feels it is his responsibility to make some donations.

"There are so many celebrities, business and sportspersons donating to the PM Cares fund. The condition of Gurukul is very critical because no one donates for it these days. It is my responsibility to help them as there are hundreds of students," said the soft spoken Deepak, when asked about his contribution to the society in the times of world-wide crisis.

With deep understanding of life’s challenges, Deepak firmly believes that "prevention is better than cure."

As he was preparing for the Olympics, Deepak had permission from the Air Force to focus on his training. With the shooting range being shut now. He is happy to spend time with family, and enjoy his favourite food.

His main event being the 10-metre air rifle and during the lockdown he has found ways to continue with his training.

"I'm doing work out and doing dry holding of the rifle in front of the mirror," he said.

Deepak could have been one of the first to win the Olympic quota, but missed narrowly as he finished sixth in the World Championship in Changwon in 2018, with an impressive score of 630.1, in the qualification phase.

After the agonising moments in the World Cups, Deepak eventually nailed the Olympic quota in his last attempt at the Asian Championship in Doha. He has also done well to stay on top of the list along with Divyansh Singh Panwar to have a convincing claim for the Olympic berth for the Tokyo Games.

With time on hand, Deepak follows all the expert talks on Facebook live every day, arranged by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), to help the sporting fraternity.