Chand, 24, recently posted an advertisement to sell her BWM car, which she had reportedly bought for Rs 30 lakh in 2018. "I want to sell my BMW car. If anyone wants to buy, contact me on messenger," she wrote on her Facebook page, only to be deleted later. But it was too late. It became one of the biggest talking points, with every major news outlet carrying the report, sympathetically.
"It was a difficult decision for me to put up that post… 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," Dutee told rediff.com.
Former tennis player Somdev Devvarman shared one of the news on his Twitter on Tuesday, with a message which reflects the generally accepted fact that sports funding in the country is still way below par.
"When our athletes win, it's almost always despite the system, not because of it," Devvarman wrote.
When our athletes win, it's almost always despite the system, not because of it.— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) July 14, 2020
Case in point https://t.co/V9xAWvV4GK
But another fact is, the situation is improving. Just look at the number of sporting leagues, and the number of schemes launched by the government. There are also many private institutions doing their bit to help India become a sporting giant.
One of them is Parth Jindal, director of JSW Sports. The 30-year-old businessman, who founded Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), in his reply to Devvarman claimed that they "have offered to support her [Chand] so many times at IIS. The offer is still wide open".
Complete nonsense - we have offered to support her so many times at IIS. The offer is still wide open— Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) July 15, 2020
Devvarman then replied as saying: "I can't speak on how and why she spent her money or funds. I don't know her personal situation. I feel it would be best of all go Govt. funds and prize money were transparent. The larger point I was trying to make is that most athletes make it despite the system. Still stand by that."
I can't speak on how & why she spent her money or funds. I don't know her personal situation.— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) July 15, 2020
I feel it would be best if all Govt. Funds and prize money were transparent
The larger point I was trying to make is that most athletes make it despite the system. Still stand by that
Then came Jindal's reply: "The system is improving and there are many that are working to improve the systems. There is us, there is OGQ and many other private organizations. Even the government has improved leaps and bounds. We have ways to go but things are definitely getting a lot better".
The system is improving and there are many that are working to improve the systems. There is us, there is OGQ and many other private organizations. Even the government has improved leaps and bounds. We have ways to go but things are definitely getting a lot better— Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) July 15, 2020
Others also weighed in on the debate. Here are some reactions:
She has a job.. According to news reports AFI gave her 50 Lakhs in last 10 months. Odisha Govt provides funding as well as facilities to her. MYAS support is always there. @SomdevD you’re a world class athlete, please don’t jump to such conclusions.— masterofnone (@parthgoswami84) July 15, 2020
Absolutely! I totally disagree when top athletes complain about lack of funds and fame etc...There is enough and more! Look around and tell me if we are not the privileged one’s— ARVIND BHAT (@bhat_bat) July 15, 2020
@DuteeChand if you are not getting support from government of Odisha & founder of KIITU, BJD MP Achyuta Samant, then why are you advertising for them ? If you are really in need , please keep aloof from political parties. We will raise fund for you.waiting for your reply Dutee.— Sidhartha S Rout (@sidhartha_rout) July 14, 2020
It's no doubt that Chand is, as one user said, one of the 'privileged' lots in Indian sports, but she still needs every possible support and backing to help realise fulfill her full potential. That includes loads of money.
"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," Chand had said earlier.
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