In a glittering ceremony in August, Sachin Tendulkar presented a BMW car each to Dipa Karmakar, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Pullela Gopichand for their outstanding performance at the Rio Olympics. However, just a month later, Karmakar is returning her luxury vehicle back to its original owner, Hyderabad Badminton Association president, V. Chamundeswaram.
Karmarkar is finding it difficult to maintain the car in her hometown Agartala, which has no BMW service centre. Moreover, the Tripura state capital has narrow and poorly-maintained roads that are not conducive to driving a BMW. Karmakar's coach, Bisheswar Nandi, told the TImes of India that he had already communicated the request to the Hyderabad Badminton Association and asked them to transfer an amount equivalent to the car's value to her bank account.
"It wasn't Dipa's decision. Rather it was a collective decision taken by her family and me," Nandi said. "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 gymnast also has to focus on training for her upcoming competition, the Challengers' Cup, that will be held in Germany next month.