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Why Dutee Chand wants to sell her BMW

By LAXMI NEGI
Last updated on: July 14, 2020 15:37 IST
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'Today, I don't have any cash!'

Dutee Chand

IMAGE: Dutee Chand with her BMW. Photograph: Dutee Chand/Facebook
 

India's fastest woman has put her luxury car up for sale.

Reason? Dutee Chand wants to arrange funds for her training.

The sprinter took to social media, on Saturday, July 11, posting a picture with the blue BMW on Facebook only to delete it later.

The BMW is a 2015 3-series model she bought in 2018 for Rs 30 lakh. Now she wants to sell the car for Rs 20 lakh.

While four of her brand endorsements have ended, the one with global sports firm Puma expires in December.

The 24 year old, only the third Indian woman to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, tells Laxmi Negi/ Rediff.com why she is strapped for funds. The first of a two-part interview:

Why have you decided to sell your BMW?

It was not an advertisement, but just a post about my plight.

These are difficult times for all of us.

For athletes, no sponsors are coming forward and helping us.

I had a few sponsorship deals until July and all, expect Puma, ended. Puma just provides me with apparel.

Had there been an Olympics, I would have been all set, but, as the Games have been postponed by a year, I am unable to support myself.

It was a difficult decision for me to put up that post.

BMW is my dream car and I bought the car after receiving a reward from the Odisha government for my performances in the Asian Games (She won silver medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres events in Jakarta in 2018).

The Odisha government gave me prize money of Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) and I built a house (which cost her Rs 70 lakh for my parents in my village. I bought this car (it cost her Rs 30 lakh).

The insurance itself cost Rs 80,000 and any minor upgrades cost nothing less than Rs 20,000.

My salary is just Rs 60,000, and I don't have that kind of cash, so I thought of selling the car for Rs 20 lakh.

Dutee Chand

IMAGE: Dutee also owns a Ford Ecosport. Photograph: Dutee Chand/Facebook

What's the reaction to your post?

(Laughs). A lot of people from Mumbai, Delhi, UP, Kolkata called my manager saying they are interested in buying the car.

ost of them said they want to see the car before buying it. So, in that department, it is going fine.

Some of them are saying 'Don't sell it' as it is my dream car and I should wait. Things will change.

Some are also commenting that I have been irresponsible with my money.

Some comments were a lot uglier and my manager decided to delete the post.

I have realised that people will always have a lot to say about my life.

They don't realise that I have a family of nine and my father has no income.

I am the sole bread winner in my family. I have three sisters of marriageable age. I have to save for their marriage.

I don't spend money on clothes. I just wear jeans and t-shirts provided by my sponsors.

Once there was a photoshoot and the photographer asked me to pick up clothes from the mall, but I told him I cannot spend thousands of rupees on outfits.

He told me that after wearing those outfits we could return them to the store. So, I have that kind of lifestyle!

Dutee Chand

In these financially tough times you helped your village with essentials.

See, I don't have lakhs to donate, but people in my village are very poor. They don't even have money to buy food.

They think I have a lot of money and look forward to get some help from me. So whatever I could manage from my savings, I distributed essentials in my village.

Whatever money I have earned is all because of my hard work.

I know an athlete lives on borrowed time. If I get injured, I will have to fend for myself.

How much do you spend a month?

This is not an Olympic year and there are no competitions, so I am asked why do you need cash?

I am an athlete. All I do is train.

Competition or no competition, I believe that there is going to be an Olympics and I will be participating in it.

I have to be ready for it!

I need to make a budget for my training. As there are no competitions so far, I cannot claim that I need to travel to countries for certain tournaments.

I have my coach, physio, running partners and diet to take care of.

It used to be anywhere between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, but these days, as travel is not involved, it has come down to Rs 2 lakh per month.

Today, I don't have any cash!

Earlier the Odisha government was supporting me, but now everything is uncertain.

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LAXMI NEGI / Rediff.com
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