Star sprinter Dutee Chand on Wednesday said she is selling her luxury car not to fund her training but because the vehicle’s maintenance cost is beyond her, trying to douse the controversy that erupted when she put the car on sale.
A few days ago, Dutee posted on social media that she intended to sell her BMW owing to its high maintenance cost.
The post was later deleted but it drew sharp reactions from the sporting fraternity with the likes of former Davis Cupper Somdev Devvarman standing by her while others pointed out that the Union Sports Ministry, Odisha government and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) were supporting her.
“I took to social media to sell my car BMW. I don’t have the resources to maintain luxury cars, though I love them. I am not able to use the car and it is a spendthrift expense on my part. I never expressed that I am selling it to fund my training,” Dutee said in a statement which she posted on her twitter handle.
While Dutee didn’t deny that the amount received by selling off a high-end luxury car could be used for various purposes, not for once did she undermine the help she has got from her sponsors.
“Odisha Government and my own KIIT University have always supported me. This does not deny the fact that my training is very expensive, especially for the 2021 Olympics.
“I just wanted to make a point that this money could be diverted for my training and a car can be bought post covid once I receive the money from the State Government.”
Dutee also refuted media reports about her monthly salary from Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
“My salary from OMC is 60,000 not 80,000. I am not complaining. Buying a car can definitely wait. KIIT University, my alma mater has stood with me and for me in all my difficulties. I just did not want to be a burden on KIIT or Odisha Government.”
The ace sprinter also made it clear that she has every resource possible and is not facing any major financial crisis.
“Not that I live in deprivation or lack of resources, but selling the car could give me breathing space on one hand and not burden the overwhelmed KIIT and Odisha Government who are all stretched to help in these testing times.”
Dutee is confident that whatever be her training plans, the government will sanction it. Even union sports minister Kiren Rijiju mentioned that Dutee is being taken care of.
“I know that I will send a plan of my training, here in Odisha as I can not travel for any international destination, the Government will sanction it without any hesitation.”
Dutee also wondered as to why she can’t take an individual call when it came to being self-reliant.
“But just on humanitarian ground, can’t I do something myself? Why is my willingness to be self reliant questioned?
“It is just a confusion created by the media, misinterpreting my use of language (definitely I admit it is not my forte). I have thorough respect for the Union Government, State Government and KIIT who have made me what I am today.”
In conclusion, she said that her intention to sell the BMW shouldn’t be perceived as a complaint for not getting enough from the concerned authorities.
“With folded hands, I want to say that I was neither complaining nor making a show of my lack of finance because I am a daughter of the country and my well-wishers are there to keep me going.
“Bless me for my training in Kalinga Stadium so that my dream of getting a gold for my country comes true.”