Dipa Karmakar, who captivated the 1.25 billion-strong population of India with her incredible performance in the Rio Olympics earlier this year would like to have her BMW gift exchanged. The 23-year-old, who received a BMW along with Olympic medallists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, deemed the car unfit for usage in Agartala, as reported by Sportskeeda earlier.
There have been further developments to the story as Dipa’s team has come out and spoken about the matter. The car was gifted to her in recognition of her achievement in Rio, becoming the first Indian woman ever to represent the country in gymnastics.
The Hyderabad District Badminton Association (HDBA) arranged for the car to be gifted to the 3 ladies. They made the occasion even more special by having one of India’s most famous sportsmen, Sachin Tendulkar to present the award to the Olympians.
It was a fitting gesture, given the magnitude of their achievements. However, it now appears that Dipa Karmakar would like to have the car exchanged for money. Late on Wednesday evening, she took to Twitter to clear the air surrounding the matter that had become viral.
The primary reasons for Dipa returning the BMW are said to be the fact that there are no service centers in her state and also the poor condition of roads in Agartala.
Dipa’s dad, Dulal Karmakar came out and mentioned that they had been pestered ever since rumours of Dipa rejecting the BMW reached the mainstream media. He spoke about the matter to the Times of India, saying, “Many have enquired whether we have rejected the HDBA’s gift. That is not true. We have only told the HDBA chief that he can give Dipa money instead of the car, or if possible, any other car which can ply in Tripura.”
V Chamundeswaranath , the HDBA chief, also spoke about the purpose of gifting the athletes’ cars. He said, “I am hopeful that BMW will make some arrangement. They offered a lot of discount for the cars and they might take care of servicing and other aspects. Our aim is to encourage athletes. Dipa came from a difficult background and made us all proud.”
Dipa appeared to have put the matter to rest with her tweet, where she explicitly mentioned that she was thankful to Sachin Tendulkar but she is glad to be receiving the funds for it. Her focus, for now, is on the Challengers’ Cup which is scheduled to take place in Germany in November.