Beijing Olympic Games gold medallist in 10m air rifle, Abhinav Bindra, has offered help to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) in the wake of incidents involving young shooters committing suicide.A 28-year-old woman rifle shooter, who was the winner of gold and silver medals at the Jharkhand State Shooting Championship, allegedly committed suicide by hanging in a women's hostel at Bally, Howrah on December 15.This is the fourth case of death by suicide in the last four months in the shooting fraternity, raising serious questions.The Abhinav Bindra Foundation caters not only to the physical aspects of high-performance athletes but also lays emphasis on mental wellness, and the ace shooter wants to share his team's expertise with the NRAI to ensure no more lives are lost to suicide.
In a letter addressed to NRAI president, Raninder Singh, Bindra has said, "I wish to offer the time and energy of my team to help the athletes, coaches, administrators, parents, and others in the sporting ecosystem in need. I hope you will accept my proposal and allow us to conduct a few virtual sessions."Bindra said the sessions will focus on the awareness and mental wellness of stakeholders "at all levels in the ecosystem"."The news (suicides) has startled me on a very personal note and I feel that to prevent any further loss of lives, we must act quickly and responsibly," added Bindra.Bindra said that athletes are also human and prone to anxiety, depression and need to be given a safe and conducive atmosphere to pursue excellence. "Our intention is to help athletes, coaches, and the rest of the sporting ecosystem begin conversations about mental health, reflect on its link to peak performance, and how they can incorporate best practices into their day-to-day lives."