Bhubaneswar: Ace sprinter Dutee Chand on Wednesday cleared the air on her selling her car, saying it had nothing to do with her lacking funds for training and she sold her sedan to get some ‘breathing space’ and not burden the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) or the Odisha government.
Dutee had recently put up a post on her Facebook account, saying she was putting her car on sale as she needed funds to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics next year. She later deleted the post, but not before it made headlines across the country.
Parth Jindal, Director of JSW Sports, on Wednesday said that he has offered to support ace sprinter Dutee Chand many times in the past and the offer is still open if she is in need of financial help.
“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 never expressed that I am selling it to fund my training.
“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,” Dutee said in a statement on her Twitter account, adding: “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.”
“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 in all my difficulties. I just did not want to be a burden on KIIT or Odisha Government. 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.
“At the same time, I know that I will send a plan of my training, here in Odisha as I cannot travel for any international destination, the Government will sanction it without any hesitation. 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).
“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 at Kalinga Stadium so that my dream of getting a Gold for my country comes true,” wrote the 24-year-old.
“The Founder of my alma mater, KIIT, always supports, patronises and encourages talent in all fields — academics and co-curricular. Why am I only targeted and his help is questioned? People are taking advantage of disturbance in my family and inadvertently bring in personal affairs into my professional life,” she further wrote in the statement.
Recently, Dutee Chand had urged people to show courage in the face of societal taboo and love anyone regardless of their caste, gender or religion. Since coming out as India’s first gay athlete last year, Dutee has been outspoken in her support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Dutee has faced significant opposition from within her own family for her relationship and she said that people had called her by many names since but none of it mattered to her.