When Indian Olympians performed decently at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Government decided to reward them so as to encourage them and so did the Hyderabad Badminton Association. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and the Association came forward and presented Dipa Karmakar, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik with a BMW each. But the controversy started when Gymnast Dipa decided to return back the luxury car owing to maintenance issues in her small city of Tripura. But only if it was as simple as it sounds! Ever since then, the fiasco has been getting more entwined.
Dipa’s statements have been confusing as a jigsaw puzzle and with everybody confused whether or not she’ll keep the car, here are the five key takeaways from the entire controversy :
1. August 28, 2016: Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Hyderabad Badminton Association present each of the Olympian, including Dipa who missed the medal by whiskers and was placed fourth with a BMW car at Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. Dipa, who seemed taken away by the massive support, said that he did not expect this much love and appreciation even though she did not win a medal.
2. October 11, 2016: Dipa Karmakar decides to return back the BMW owing to maintenance issues. She and her coach said that they want to focus on the upcoming Challengers Cup in Germany and such expensive gifts might just turn out to be a distraction. She added that the poor roads and lack of service stations in Tripura is a major reason for returning the gift.
Dipa’s coach Bisweshwar Nanda said that their request has been conveyed and accepted by the Badminton Association. The Association aslo offered to transfer equivalent amount in Dipa’s account.
3. October 12, 2016: Dipa’s father Dulal Karmakar echoes the statement saying ”Maintaining such a posh car in city like Agartala will be difficult; we have asked for money instead.” Dipa also added that they have asked the Association to provide with a local car instead and their request has been accepted.
4. October 12, 2016: Sachin requests Dipa to keep the car and offers funds for its maintenance. He says that hailing her achievements, she deserves it.
5. October 13, 2016: In an interview with ANI, the gymnast says that she cannot even think about returning a gift from Sachin. She said “See it is not at all like this, I cannot even do that because getting a gift from Sachin Sir’s hand itself is a very big thing. I got the key from him. In fact, I cannot even think of refusing or returning it back.”
She added ”No return or refusal, just that there is no showroom, service centre of BMW in Agartala, so I was talking about a possibility.”
While her statements have created quite a confusing picture to everyone, it remains to seen how exactly will the returning gift scenario turn out. With her constantly altered versions, the picture looks hazy as of now.