As heavy rains lashed Hyderabad on Wednesday, Gagan Narang fidgeted along with his telephone. Every likelihood he acquired, he glanced on the display screen the place he may see CCTV footage of his Gun For Glory academy in Timulgherry, Secunderabad, in actual time.
He noticed the water seeping via the gate. He noticed it discovering its method contained in the air-conditioned eight-lane coaching facility. It was 10pm and Narang, an Air India official, was nonetheless on obligation on the Shamshabad Airport, 15 km away from his academy.
The downpour was relentless and getting heavier.
Narang’s largest worry was water reaching a 3,000 sq ft cellar that saved 100 weapons, together with 80 model new rifles and pistols just lately procured from Germany and Italy. There had been additionally 20 personalised weapons of shooters and digital targets purchased from Switzerland. As quickly as his shift ended, Narang known as Marcus Campos, a former shooter who’s answerable for the weapons and ammunition retailer, and made a determined sprint for the academy via flooded streets.
“The whole city was in bad shape, flooded, submerged,” Narang stated. “Trees had uprooted and fallen on the road. I had to take detours and somehow managed to reach the academy at 11.”
The sight that greeted him confirmed his fears.
“By the time I reached there it was already under 6 feet of water. Nobody could get inside because water was gushing in. The force of the water had caused the shutters to bend,” the Olympic and World Championship medalist stated.
Narang, Marcus and other workplace directors tried in useless to search out some solution to enter the power and save the weapons.
“Imagine the 3,000 sq ft cellar deep in 8 feet of water. There was no help at the time. We tried whatever we could and then returned home. Nobody knows more than me the struggle and efforts you have to make to hold your own weapon,” Narang stated.
More than a decade in the past, when Narang was sweeping via medals on the Commonwealth and Asian Games, it was certainly a battle for shooters to get their arms on competitors-stage weapons. They had been costly, and the federal government clearances had been a nightmare that took months. Narang’s father needed to dump land to purchase his son his first Walther rifle. It’s one of many the explanation why Narang based Gun For Glory in 2011, on the peak of his profession, to assist unearth younger expertise and supply them with quick access to world class services, weapons and ammunition.
It began with one academy in Pune, and now has over 1,000 college students throughout 16 centres, together with shooters like Elavenil Valarivan, at present ranked No 1 on this planet in 10m Air Rifle. The vary at Timulgherry is the place Narang coaches Valarivan and present Asian Shooting Championship gold medallist Dhanush Srikanth.
“Every centre of mine is close to my heart but this one occupies a special place in my heart. I have also trained here and seen it grow,” says Narang.
In December, Narang tied up with Telangana state for an academy on the University of Hyderabad campus in Gachibowli. Many of the weapons which had been saved in Timulgherry had been meant for the brand new centre, the opening of which was delayed by the lockdown.
“We stored at this centre because it was the only range we had access to during the lockdown,” says Aneek Biswas, Business Operations head, GFG. “The equipment was roughly worth ₹1.3 crore. We have spoken to the manufacturers to see if anything can be rectified. We are still taking stock of the damage.”
Narang returned as quickly as morning broke on Thursday for one more try to avoid wasting the gear.
“It was so difficult to organise even a pump because the entire city was flooded. No pump was available and there was no electricity,” he says.
After eight hours, when the water receded by 4 ft, Narang couldn’t wait. “There was still water but I decided to go in and check. I can’t tell how I felt seeing the weapons all floating inside.
“These are all high-end weapons meant for Olympic level shooters. They are like Ferrari engines. It’s difficult to get them back in shape once damaged. We had big plans this year, opening new ranges and giving new weapons to our shooters across our centres. But first the pandemic happened and now this. It has dealt a big blow to our plans, but we can’t look back now,” Narang says. “That’s what I have learnt as a sportsperson. I will not quit.”