Shreyasi Singh is not your typical millennial. Before her life clocked three decades, she has won her nation several shooting laurels, held the national champion title in trap shooting for two consecutive years; and recently became a first time MLA from Bihar’s Jamui constituency. In an exclusive interview with Rajputana Collective, Shreyasi opens up about her entrance into the world of politics, and the sacrifices it takes for an ace markswoman to serve as a people’s representative. Given her spontaneity and candour, it’s of little wonder that the spirited young woman makes for a prominent exemplar for today’s aspiring youth.
Q. After making the nation proud as an ace sportsperson, your career took an acute turn into the field of politics. What made you opt for politics amidst a thriving career in trap shooting?
A. So I was always inclined towards Politics primarily because of my father. He was a leader who was loved and respected by all. When I was growing up all I could dream about was becoming like him one day and having that charismatic charm as a leader. When the pandemic hit India first at the beginning of 2020 like a lot of people I too became active on social media. I started interacting with a lot of youth from Bihar through live sessions, regular posting etc. It was then that I realised how much of a change was required in Bihar and how the people who loved my father wanted me to step into his shoes and make political differences as he did. It was for the youth of Bihar that I stepped into politics.
Q. You hail from a family of renowned shots, administrators and statesmen. How does it feel to be taking their legacy forward in the 21st century? What do you envision doing differently?
A. There is definitely a lot of expectations attached to the legacy. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to match up to the stature of my father, but I do want to take his ideology, his work and his dreams forward.
I don’t want to do things differently as much as I want to do things that make a difference. Help empower the youth and change the poor narrative that’s set for Bihar.
Q. Will trap shooting still be in the cards for you, or have political commitments eclipsed your sporting dreams?
A. Definitely Trap Shooting is on the cards. I’m trying my best to manage time and do both things. There have been times when one is prioritised over the other. For example, I had to withdraw my participation from the ISSF World Cup so that I could attend the Budget Session of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha in March 2021 but I chose to participate at the National Championship (to represent Bihar) and miss 4 days of the Winter Session of the Vidhan Sabha in December 2021.
Q. You have been amongst the first modern-day shooters to opt to represent your home state of Bihar, despite its record low sponsorships and financial bandwidth. You mentioned doing so in order to set an example for younger sporting aspirants in your state. How do you plan on taking this forward as a people’s representative?
A. In Bihar was had to start at the ground level. The government has proudly passed the Sports University Bill in the Monsoon Session of the Vidhan Sabha in 2021, and soon Bihar will be the 6th (or 7th) state in India to have a Sports University. That’s a big win for Sports in Bihar.
With the Sports Development Authority, we are working day and night to build a new Sports Policy to help build champions. As a community, we need to come together to support sports whether is monetarily or morally.
Q. What are some of Jamui’s most plaguing concerns, and how do you intend on addressing them?
A. The demands and needs of the people of Jamui are pretty basic as they’ve been deprived of that previously. There are a lot of projects coming up in Jamui just to name a few there’s a Medical College and Hospital, Sports Complex under the Khelo India, SAI training facility, Stormwater drainage system, lots of infrastructural development under the RCPLWE schemes and so on
Q. Possibly amongst the youngest elected state representatives, please describe your experience?
A. Yes, I am the youngest elected Legislative Member in the current Government. While sometimes some people have tried to break my morals by saying “bacchi hai, abhi kya karegi” I’ve also had the privilege of some leaders who guide and support me like my elder brother, sisters or other members of the family.
The good thing about being young is that there is a whole ocean to learn from and form my own opinions. I’m always willing and excited to learn from my seniors.
I’m persistent in the work I want to get done for my constituency Jamui and Bihar and have conviction in my goals, I don’t let people take me lightly just by the virtue of my age.
Q. What lies ahead?
A. It’s a long road forward filled with challenges, I’m excited to take on each one of them and this question only reminds me of the famous poem by Robert Frost :
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
Miles to go before I sleep.