Princess Rajyshree Kumariji
Born on 4th June 1953 in Bombay, daughter of Her Highness Dr. Karni Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner and Maharani Sushila Kumari. She stands unrivalled in target shooting. She was declared “Sportsperson of the Year” and was awarded the much-coveted trophy “ARJUNA AWARD” in 1969 when she was only 16 years old. This award is the highest acclaim that India can give to its sportsmen and sportswomen for outstanding achievement. She comes from a very long line of great shooters.
Her great grandfather Her Highness Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner was a great reformer, builder and an international figure of his time.
Her grandfather, His Highness Maharaja Sadul Singhji of Bikaner, was the first prince to accede his State into the India Union at the time of Independence and thereby provided the important historic lead to all others to follow suit and which led to the creation of an United India. Her father His Highness Dr. Karni Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner, served as an independent Member of Parliament from 1952-1977 for an uninterrupted period of 25 years in the Lok Sabha- the elected House of People. He represented India in four Olympics, Five World Shooting Championships, and numerous other international clay Pigeon Shooting Championship. In the Cairo World Shooting Championship in 1962 he tied for the Gold Medal in the Clay Pigeon Traps event.
Her father had also won the “ARJUNA AWARD” in 1961 like herself and both father and daughter winning this award is an unique achievement and record of which the people of Bikaner are very proud. This father and daughter team has been responsible for many medals and for the Indian Flag being raised, at shooting competitions all over the world. At the age of seven she had the unique distinction of winning the National Air Rifle Championship in the below twelve years of age junior section. Furthermore, and significantly, the Princess beat all competitors in all age group in air rifle shooting and won the open championship trophy first at the age of ten and then a gain at the age of twelve.
At the age of 14 at the All India Selection Trials held at Ahmedabad during the year 1967 she set a new All India record of 358/400 in Air Rifle Shooting by beating her nearest rival, an army man, by a big margin of 33 points. In Japan in 1967 still at the age of 14 she own the 21st place. In this competition she was the only woman competitor and a junior. The score of winner of the Gold Medal at this competition was 367/400. Her score 358/400 set at Ahmedabad is the highest score shot in the standing position set by any Indian.
At the 13th National Shooting Championship held in Madras in 1968, Princess Rajyashree Kumari at the age of 15 won all the items in which she entered and won the largest number of gold medals in shooting.
At the 14th National Shooting Championships held at Bhopal in February 1969 Princess Rajyashree Kumari competed for Ladies Olympic Clay Pigeon Trap event and secured 77/100 which score is equal to the score of third position holder in the World Shooting Championship held at Bologna in 1967. She captained the Bikaner Thunderbolts Rifle Club at Bhopal National at won the team Olympic trap championships at finished second in the Ladies Clay Pigeon trap shooting championship. At the selection trials held at Delhi for the San Sebastian (Spain) World Shooting Championship Princess Rajyashree secured 82/100 in Clay Pigeon Traps which is equal to the second position score of the Bologna World Shooting Championships Ladies Trap 1967 score. During the 16th National Shooting Championships Rajyashree stood first in the open Ladies Trap Shooting Championships and third in open Trap Shooting Championships. At the II Asian Shooting Championships in the individual clay Pigeon trap shooting she was placed on the 14th position with a score of 152/200. India was the only country who entered Women Shooters in an otherwise all male Trap Contestants. Also she was a Member of the Clay Pigeon Trap Shooting Team and helped Indian to win the Bronze Medal in the Clay Pigeon trapshooting event (team). Rajyashree Kumari’s score was 118/150.
At the National Shooting Championship in 1970 the Princess scored 92 out of 100 in Trapshooting (IR). This national record established by her when she was only 17 years old is still unbeaten. At the 1972, XVII : National Shooting Championship held at Delhi Princess Rajyashree was third in Clay Pigeon Trap National Championships (open to all) and she was National Champion in All India Ladies Clay Pigeon Trap Shooting Championships.
At the National Shooting Championship at Chandigarh in 1975 the Princess won Second place in Trap Shooting, beating all male competitors. Her father, His Highness Dr. Karni Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner, won first place.
Since 1969, for political reasons, India has stopped participation in the World Shooting Championship series. This championship series had separate ladies competitions in Trap and Skeet shooting and as the Indian Government stopped participation the women shooters of India have lost the opportunity to compete in international events. The Olympic, Asian shooting competition, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games have no separate item for women and this makes it impossible for them to compete.
Her other interests include the preservation of heritage properties and ancestral Forts and Palaces that belong to the Bikaner family. Member of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). Preservation of Wildlife. Helped the Maharaja in setting up the Sadul Museum in Lallgarh Palace, Bikaner. Working on many Projects concerning Publishing of books related to the family history and properties, reprinting the old books and TV documentaries and films. Chairperson of Public Charitable Trusts set up by late Maharaja Karni Singhji that carry out numerous Charitable and other useful works for the people of Bikaner. She has recently launched a public charitable trust in the sacred memory of her father known as “Maharaja Dr. Karni Singhji Memorial Foundation” and proposes to bring large amount of funds from abroad in this trust, which will be utilized for the benefit of the people. Rajyashree Kumari has one daughter, Anupama Kumari, and a son Sajjan Singh Gohel.