Gymnast Dipa Karmakar's fantastic performance in Rio Olympics 2016 was greeted with 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, due to the difficulties in maintenance, Dipa is all set to return the luxury car to its original owner, the president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association (HBA), V Chamundeswaranath.
According to a report on The Times of India, Dipa and her family, who live in Agartala, are facing issues in maintaining the gift the gymnast recieved from Tendulkar. The reason being that the roads in the capital of Tripura are very narrow and in bad shape, one that could invite a lot of repair costs.
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.
"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," he was quoted as saying in the report.
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.
However, Dipa's father clarified the situation to Hindustan Times, that they are not returning the car, but just replacing it with another owing to the roads in Agartala.
"Roads in Tripura are not good enough to drive such a vehicle. There are no capable drivers in Agartala town to drive a BMW and the company has no showroom or service centre in the state," the report said.
While, the lack of a service centre and narrow roads in Agartala may have forced Dipa to take this step, the main reason behind her decision appear to be her training 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.