The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the All India Sports Council of the Deaf (AISCD) under which the former will conduct competitions at every level for shooters with hearing impairment. The competitions will be held at district, state, zonal and national level and facilities provided to them will be at par with able-bodied shooters.
The MoU will be in effect till 2029. The first initiative under the MoU will be the national trials for deaf shooters at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range from February 24, after which the Indian team for the 24th Deaflympics, scheduled in May in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, will be picked.
Sharing his thoughts, NRAI president Raninder Singh called it a “moment of great pride that today we are able to bring these special athletes into the NRAI family”. “We have always believed in the universality of sport and are confident that with this partnership, our shooters from the hard of hearing fraternity will be able to realise their full potential.”
NRAI secretary general K Sultan Singh said, “Deaf athletes including deaf shooters have been second to none in bringing glory to the nation on the international stage. With NRAI stepping in, I am sure they will even exceed our expectations in the times to come. “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of India, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Sports Authority of India for continuing to guide us and support us in digging out talent from all segments of the society. “We promise our continued full and the best of cooperation in the same.”
As part of the MoU, the AISCD would appoint a technical advisor and depute officials with the knowledge of sign language at its own cost during the conduct of shooting competitions. The NRAI, on the other hand, besides conducting the technical competition through its officials, would also perform functions such as holding coaching camps, providing ammunition, issue renowned shot certificates as well as help with issuance of import permits as per government guidelines, among others.
“This is a huge development for the deaf shooters and will be a game changer. It gives us great satisfaction that finally we will be able to provide our shooters with world-class facilities to develop their game,” said AISCD chairman Mohinder Singh. “We are very grateful to the NRAI leadership for supporting us in every step and look forward to a long and fulfilling relationship.”
The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), the global body for the sport, governs the technical rules and regulations regarding conduct of shooting events for deaf shooters. The medical certification of deaf shooters will be done by AISCD.