Dipa Karmakar’s magnificent performance at the Rio Olympics was appreciated by many, including former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who was picked to present BMW cars to her, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik in September. However, owing to maintenance issues, Dipa has decided to return her gift to the original owner V Chamundeswaranath, president of the Hyderabad Badminton Association.

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. Moreover, 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. Dipa was not available for the comment, but her coach Bisheswar Nandi threw some light on this. “It wasn’t Dipa’s decision. Rather it was a collective decision taken by her family and me. “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.”

The coach further stated 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 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,” he said.

The key reason behind Dipa’s uncertainty though seems to be her participation for the Challengers Cup. The Gymnastics Federation of India has informed Nandi that Dipa will only be able to travel to Germany provided the six-member Indian camp can participate as a team.

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