*While smoke coming out of the burning fibre egg box, SAI Trainee archers are seen practicing in the field at Birsa Munda Football stadium, Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand

Getting trained in field archery is not only a discipline of accuracy but one that requires an understanding of changing environments and conditions, technique and equipment. Shooting targets of varying size and distance requires additional skills – with an eye on ultimately mastering the field course. 

Against the breathtaking backdrop of the archers, competitors at the outer ground of the Sports Authority of India run centre inside Birsa Munda Football stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand dealt with the gruelling grass layout and weather ranging from sunshine to rain with mosquitoes flying all around. 

These mosquitoes keep flying even as every target on a field course counts and, while some might not realise it, every experienced field archer goes through a routine that assesses how they’ll approach each shot. It sounds difficult, but field archery is both incredibly facing and confronting every day.

Especially when you’re prepared – and know these flying mosquitoes’ challenges you’ll need to deal with when you step out onto the course at Sports Authority of India, Ranchi Centre, Birsa Munda Football stadium in Ranchi.

At the SAI Ranchi Centre there are 12 archers getting trained for the state, national and international competitive archery competitions. 

They hailed from Jharkhand, the homeland of Deepika Kumari (born 13 June 1994), an Indian professional archer who is currently ranked the World No. 2. Among them, most were from Khunti, Ranchi, Dumka and Utter Pradesh.

They were selected during 2019-22. Right now, they lack a coach.” Two coaches were transferred. New coaches are coming”, informed SAI, Ranchi Centre chief Binod Kumar Singh. 

As per their routine, each archer has to get up early morning and after completing morning rituals, start practising inside the front entry gate of Birsa Munda Football stadium. 

Owned by the state sports department in Jharkhand, a part of this stadium was leased out to SAI for athletes.Its green ground encircled by trees, is full of mosquitoes. 

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Aware of these flying mosquitoes in this rainy season, these trainee archers of SAI have evolved a Jugaad,a flexible approach to problem-solving that uses limited resource in an innovative way, to contain mosquitoes. 

The modus operandi was simple. From their mess, they pick up leftover egg-packing box every morning. They place it on the ground and burn it creating smoke to drive away mosquitoes. 

 As the smoke of the burning egg packing box spreads in the air, mosquitoes fly enabling these trainee archers to practice shooting.

“But we often lose concentration in hitting the right box”, cribs a trainee archer. There is another serious problem. 

“The inhalation of smoke coming out from the burning fibre egg box is extremely harmful to lungs and heart”,laments another trainee archer. 

Asked why SAI Ranchi Centre Incharge Singh why he does not get fogging done in the entire field to control outdoor mosquitoes, flies and other such pests(Notably, fogging means spraying chemicals to produce thick fog or smoke to kill mosquitos and other pests). 

And pat comes SAI Ranchi Incharge Binod Kumar Singh’s reply:” Fogging is done by the Ranchi Municipal Corporation. Despite our repeated requests, RMC authorities don’t do fogging,even though it was done regularly in the past.” 

So trainee archers are helpless. They continue to practice archery while driving away mosquitoes by burning fibre egg box in the land of India’s top archer Deepika Kumari.

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