Top sprinter Dutee Chand drove down nearly 70 km from Bhubaneswar to her village to distribute 1,000 food packets. With special passes provided to her, Dutee visited her village Chaka Gopalpur in Jajpur district of Odisha to distribute food. “This lockdown has hit hard the people in my village and I just wanted to help them in whatever small way I could. So, I took special passes and reached my village on Friday. I distributed food packets to around 1000 people,” Dutee, who has now returned to Bhubaneswar, told PTI.

While leaving, she also promised to come back with more food packets in the coming week.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dutee Chand drove nearly 70 km from Bhubaneswar to her village in Odisha to distribute 1,000 food packets.
  • “Next time I will take 2000 food packets,” Dutee said.
  • It is not about the money but the satisfaction: Dutee Chand

“I am planning to go back again.”

“My family and I had informed the villagers about my visit. People came to my house and I distributed food packets,” said Dutee who missed out Olympic qualifying events in Germany on March 2 as the event was cancelled due to the  COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am planning to go back again and distribute food to the villagers. We have around 5000 people in the village and next time I will take 2000 food packets,” said the 24-year-old, the fastest woman of India who is eyeing to qualify for the Olympics and make her country proud.

“I approached KIIT founder (and BJD Member of Parliament) Achyuta Samanta for help. I spent Rs 50,000 from my pocket and the rest was arranged by him,” she said.

READ: Dutee Chand Faces Backlash From Family Over Same Sex Relationship

Yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics

On the qualification process being suspended by World Athletics till the end of the year, she said, “Naturally, it would have been better had I qualified for Olympics by now, it is not easy. But I feel better when I see those smiling faces. The older people among the villagers gave me blessings to bring a medal in the Olympics.”

“It is not about the money but the satisfaction that I could do something for the society and for my village where I grew up. My parents are also happy with what I am doing,” she continued.

The Athletics Federation of India is planning to start the season in September on this Dutee said, “I am inside the KIIT campus and there is a track inside the campus, so I am using it. But I am not doing training full steam, it is much lesser than the usual training ahead of competitions.”

“There is no competition ahead, so I just want to keep myself fit and be ready for an event which may come up. It will help me to be ready, I will not have to start from the scratch once the competitions begin,” she concluded.

How fast Dutee is now

Dutee broke the national record in 100-meter sprint heats. At the National Open Athletics Championships in Ranchi in October last year, she bettered her personal best with a timing of 11.22 seconds. She went on to win a gold in the finals. Her previous national record was 11.26 seconds, which means she is now 0.04 seconds faster than she was at the Asian Athletics Championships in April last year. She needs to cut it to 11.15 seconds, the qualifying mark for the 2020 Tokyo Games. No Indian athlete has ever achieved 11.15s in 100m.

Feature Image Credit: Sportstar

Read More Stories By Ria Das

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.