The controversy over a BMW car which was gifted to gymnastics sensation Dipa Karmakar following her heroics at the 2016 Rio Olympics seems to be taking a new twist. On her return to India, Dipa, along with India’s two Rio medalists – PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik – was gifted a BMW each by Hyderabad District Badminton Association chief Chamundeswarinath. Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had presented the keys of the car to them. But recently, according to media reports, Dipa has refused to accept the gift, saying it will be tough for her to maintain the luxurious car in Agartala, instead requesting that cash prize equivalent to the car’s cost be given to her so that she can use the money for her training.
She also tweeted ‘thanking’ Tendulkar for ‘agreeing to give funds for it’. However, Chamundeswarinath said he will have a word with the gymnast on the difficulties she is facing in handling the vehicle.
“We will discuss with her. Whatever Dipa is comfortable with, we will look into it; if not BMW car,” he said. “The idea of gifting cars to the sportsperson was to encourage them to do better.”
“You need to be luckly to be gifted a car by Sachin sir. But I respectfully have to return the gift,” Dipa, who is yet to receive the car, said. She candidly expressed that roads in Agartala are too narrow for a BMW and also the city does not have a single BMW showroom or service centre.
“The biggest question for me is what happens if the car breaks down and there is an emergency. There is nowhere to go because there are no BMW showrooms or service centres in Agartala and Guwahati, which is 500km from here. Also, you have to maintain these cars well but there is nowhere in Agartala that I will be able to do that,” Dipa said.
Dipa’s father Dulal said a technician would have to fly from Kolkata in case of any mechanical difficulty. “We have to bear the entire cost in that case,” he said, according to a PTI report.