Gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s fantastic pathbreaking performance in the Rio Olympics was lauded by many accolades, among which was the luxury BMW vehicle Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar presented to her along with PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik. However, owing to maintenance issues, Dipa has decided to return her gift to the original owner V Chamundeswaranath, president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association.
According to a report on The Times of India Dipa and her family is having maintaining such a posh car in a city like Agartala, where the roads are narrow and not well-maintained. Moreover, since Dipa’s next assignment, the Challengers’ Cup in Germany is a month away; Dipa has been advised not to bear the maintenance cost and rather devote her time towards practicing.
Dipa Karmakar to return her BMW owing to maintenance issues
She also got suggestions to not bear the cost of the maintenance and instead concentrate on preparing for her next competition, Challengers’ Cup, which is just a month away.
In Dipa’s absence, her coach Bishewar Nandi, who was awarded with the prestigious Dronacharya Award this year, said that the decision to return the car was taken by both him and the gymnast’s family.
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On behalf of Dipa the coach Bisheswar Nandi shed some light on the topic. “It wasn’t Dipa’s decision. Rather it was a collective decision taken by her family and me,” Nandi told TOI Sports. “There are two main reasons behind it. First, there is no BMW service center in Agartala and secondly, the roads are not suitable to drive a posh car such as this.”
Nandi also added that they have also talked to the HBA regarding the problems they are facing and the federation have agreed to take the gift back.
“We have spoken to the concerned authority and gladly, they have no problems with it. It was also suggested to them that if possible, they transfer the amount equivalent to the value of the car to Dipa’s bank account. And if not, we will be happy with whatever amount they decide,” the report said.
The key reason behind Dipa’s uncertainty though seems to be her participation for the Challengers Cup. The Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) apparently has stated to Nandi that Dipa can travel to Germany, the venue for the competition, only if the six-member Indian unit can participate as a team.
“According to the Federation, we must at least prepare a three-member team. Otherwise, we won’t be able to participate in the Challengers Cup. The camp has also suggested that I begin a preparatory camp as soon as possible,” Nandi said. “Ashmita Paul, another one of my students is one of the bright upcoming gymnasts in the country and I plan on taking her for the camp too. However, I am not sure whether Dipa will be able to join us there as she is yet to resume training in full capacity.”