Dutee Chand is compelled to sell her BMW car for meeting her training expenses.
The Asian Games double silver medallist does not get the TOPS scheme from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports her training was funded by the Odisha State Government. However, the funds provided by the State are not adequate to meet all her expenses since the cost of the diet itself runs over ₹ 1 lakh.
Cash incentives and private sponsorshiops would help her bridge the gap between the State support and the high cost of her training. With the lockdown and suspension of events worldwide due to COVID-19 pandemic, Dutee is struggling to meet her expenses.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has also affected her private sponsorships. Postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has further added to her hardships as she needs to maintain optimum training levels for yet another year.
“I can understand these are challenging times for anyone to extend financial assistance. But being an athlete aiming to win an Olympic medal, I just cannot afford to sit back and watch in disappointment with the way things are unfolding around me,” Dutee told the Sportstar.
The 24-year-old has reportedly put her BMW 3-series car, which she had bought for Rs 30 lakh in 2018, to sustain her training.
“It is a very costly car which I bought at Rs 30 lakh and its maintenance has become an issue for me. Moreover, I don’t have the parking slot too to keep it as I have two more cars. So, I have decided to sell it off so that the money raised can be handy to continue training,” she told the sports publication.
“I have to spend about ₹1 lakh alone on diet and then have to pay salaries to my support staff including trainer and physio. It has become very difficult for me to sustain the training.
“I spent most of the cash incentives which the Odisha Government had given to me and with the postponement of the Olympics to 2021, it has become even more difficult for me to fund my training,” Dutee explained.
Dutee gets ₹ 60,000 per month as salary from her employer Odisha Mining Corporation. That certainly is not sufficient to meet the expenses of a global athlete who is preparing to make a mark a the Olympics.