Gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who was presented a BMW car by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, is set to return the luxury gift to its original owner, president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association (HBA) V Chamundeswaranath, due to difficulties in maintenance.
Sachin Tendulkar presented Dipa, along with PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, a BMW car in September for their Rio achievements.
According to a report in Times of India, the prime reason behind it seems to be the difficulty 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.
Furthermore, 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.
“It wasn’t Dipa’s decision. Rather it was a collective decision taken by her family and me,” Dipa’s coach Bisheswar Nandi was quoted as saying by TOI Sports.
“There are two main reasons behind it. First, there is no BMW service centre in Agartala and secondly, the roads are not suitable to drive a posh car such as this,” Nandi said. Dipa was unavailable to comment on the matter.
The report further added that they have spoken to the Hyderabad Badminton Association about their concerns and that the body has accepted their request.
“We have spoken to the authority concerned 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,” coach Nandi said.
“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.
Deepa finished fourth in the vault category in Rio, putting then nation on the global map of gymnastics. Dipa alongwith India’s two medallist from Rio, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, received a BMW car each in September.