A couple of days ago India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand made a Facebook post wanting to sell her BMW. The post was taken down soon after. But not before it caused a furore on social media.
Speaking to the New Indian Express, she said:
It was my dream to ride a BMW which I fulfilled two years back by purchasing the luxury car for Rs 40 lakh after the State Government gave me Rs 3 crore for my achievements in Asian Games… I exhausted all my money. It is now difficult to get sponsors due to COVID-19 pandemic for my training for the Tokyo Olympics. I need money for my fitness expenses and training in Germany. But no sponsor is coming forward which is why I decided to sell my luxury car.
Following the post, the Odisha government stated in a press release that she had been offered Rs 4.09 crore since 2015, including the Rs 3 crore that was awarded after her silver-medal wins in the 2018 Asian Games, Scroll reported.
This led to strong reactions from the athlete who asked why she was being ‘humiliated’. Speaking to reporters, she said:
Why am I being humiliated in the entire state? I am disappointed about that. After that press release, people are saying: ‘Dutee has a lot of money but is lying’. My self-respect is taking a hit… You [the Odisha government] spent crores of money organising the Hockey World Cup. Did you release a press release declaring how much you spent for the tournament? Are you humiliating me or the state? What will people think.
The Facebook post was soon taken down but social media was still buzzing. Even the likes of tennis stars, Somdev Devvarman and doubles specialist Purav Raja demanded accountability from the government.
Chand has since released another statement on Twitter regarding the subject, where she says that she had decided to sell the car as she wasn’t ‘able to use it’ and it was a ‘spendthrift expense’ on her part.
The matter seems to have cooled down for now.