EXCLUSIVE: Back home, Dutee Chand relishes changed scenario
India’s fastest woman has been training on the ultra-modern track with the help of modern infrastructure at Bhubaneswar for last six months.
She still remembers the day she had to leave Glasgow silently after being banned from athletics. Dutee Chand still remembers the day she was forced to leave her home at Chaka Gopalpur in Odisha after hearing taunts and boos repeatedly from her neighbours, relatives and the sports fraternity in her state.
On Wednesday Dutee, while speaking from her home at Chaka Gopalpur over the phone, tells the Bridge, “The strong breeze coming off the sea, makes the sleep denser!”
On Tuesday, Dutee had revealed through tweet that she has been selected in the 25-member Indian team for the upcoming Doha World Championship.
India’s fastest woman has been training on the ultra-modern track with the help of modern infrastructure at Bhubaneswar for last six months. Although it has been a silent return to home Dutee seems to be relishing the opportunity.
She recalls, “It was highly painful in 2015. After I was asked to leave national camp following ban, I had to face ignominy also in my locality and in Bhubaneswar. I was asked also not to train at Bhubaneswar.
Today, she receives the VIP status in her state. The athletics coaches as well as her neighbours were all present at Bhubaneswar athletics stadium on the day she began her training. Dutee says, “It has been nice to see the changed scenario.”
Misra, a SAI coach observes Dutee Chand’s training in Bhubaneswar.
In between these four years, the scenario has changed utmost. Dutee has entered into the stardom of Indian athletics. As its reflection, her social identity has changed a lot. She invested to rebuild her parents’ house. Simultaneously she has introduced her own decorated house.
But until now, Dutee had not changed her training base from Gachhibowli to Bhubaneswar. She did it finally due to two key factors. One she mentions, “The track at Gachhibowli has deteriorated as amateur and trainee athletes also train there.”
The other reason, which she did not mention, could be guessed. That is, her partnership with her old female friend which had created storm in her family and Dutee has been forced again to leave her home for the second time.
But the ace sprinter declares at the same time that it will not be the case that she will never go back to Hyderabad. Dutee adds, “Ramesh sir will be coming to Bhubaneswar almost every month and train me. I will also train at Gachhibowli if required.”
Her timing suddenly declined in a meet held in Patiala SAI a couple of days ago. It was 11.40 seconds, little odd to read especially after amazing World University gold with 11.32 seconds.
Dutee Chand, however, does not seem to be bothered with her latest timing as she says, “Even if I have not been able to earn qualification for the World Championship, I have maintained my ranking (43rd) and my aim is to improve it.”
The sprinter finally had to cancel her foreign exposure trip before World Championship due to lack of financial assistance. She explains, “I have never been included in the Target Olympics Podium (TOP) scheme in spite of repeated requests. So I have been in search of private sponsorship. My state government has given me some relief by allotting 25 lakh rupees in advance. I have plans to get exposure before Tokyo Olympics and my state government has promised me to give me more when I will tour finally.”