Maneesha Keer’s astounding journey


Maneesha Keer’s life has changed dramatically. Until three years ago, she began her day accompanying her father to Bhopal’s upper lake and catch fishes for her family’s survival. Today, she is an international shooter.Hailing from a small village called Goragaon, located on the outskirts of Bhopal, Maneesha resides in a small and modest home that provides shelter to a family of 10.In a short time, Maneesha has won 10 gold medals – nine domestic and one international. Recently in May, she won a gold in an Under-16 Shotgun tournament in Finland.Maneesha is the fourth of eight siblings. Her sister Soniya (second from right) is a national-level rower, while elder brother Gautam (extreme left) used to be a volleyball player.Everytime Maneesha gets an opportunity to be home, she helps her mother in the kitchen. Dal Chawal and Bhindi happen to be her favourite.Kailash Keer (left), Maneesha’s father, makes it a point to take her daughter to the village temple prior to any shooting event.Maneesha and her siblings on their way back from the lake. Everything said and done, Maneesha’s heart beats in Goregaon, despite trips to three different countries.Kailash’s family, for generations has survived on fishing. Whatever little time Maneesha is able to take out from her training, she helps her father in the lakeAccording to Maneesha, there are days when she and her father have to return empty-handed. As a side job, Kailash even looks after the cultivation of chestnuts.Maneesha hasn’t forgotten the art of her ancestral occupation. She has an impeccable sense of laying the trap with an enormous net in the right area.The Madhya Pradesh shooting academy, where Maneesha hones her skills diligently. Her training schedule starts at 8 am everyday, which sees her shoot rounds after rounds at the range.Maneesha’s best trait according to her coach is her dedication, and it was evident during her duration at the range. She constantly fired her rounds and her aim hardly missed.Maneesha is coached by former Indian shooter Mansher Singh, a four-time Olympian. Local coach Indrajit Sikdar (spotted here) deals with her day-to-day supervision.When not training, Maneesha slips back into the teenager that she is. Here, Maneesha is seen having a candid moment with sister Soniya (extreme left), and friends Parvati Kumre and Chinki Yadav (extreme right).Maneesha’s holy grail is a gold finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It may sound a long shot today, but her fierce dedication of achieving it, is what many believe will get her there.

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