Cross-border honour for Dipa Karmakar

At a time when the Tripura state administration is gearing up to welcome Dipa Karmakar on her homecoming on Monday, the gymnastics icon has been invited by a cultural association from Bangladesh for a felicitation function.

Special gesture: A delegation from Bhairab visited the Karmakar family and handed them an invitation expressing their desire to honour Dipa. Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar

A delegation from Bhairab, a small place close to Dhaka, visited the Karmakar family on Saturday and handed them a specially-designed invitation expressing their desire to honour Dipa for her fourth-place finish in the Rio Olympics.

The letter, addressed to Dipa and her coach Bisweshwar Nandi, from Bangladeshi freedom-fighter Mohammad Syeddullah Mian said every Bengali, including those from Bangladesh, was feeling proud because of Dipa’s creditable showing and her coach Nandi’s able guidance.

“The inhabitants of Bhairab in Bangladesh want to honour you.

“Kindly let us know the suitable date and time when you will be available for this and make us grateful. Long live India-Bangladesh friendship!” said the letter. Dipa’s father Dulal Karmakar said the date will be decided after consulting her.

“She will be busy with her exams till August 30. After that we will decide on the date,” he said.

Thousands of people from all walks of life will witness the felicitation of Dipa and Nandi onMonday. The sports and youth affairs department, Tripura Sports Council and the other wings of the government will hold a grand reception for the duo at the Vivekananda Stadium in the outer area ofthe magnificent Ujjyanta Palace.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will preside over the function, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Sports & Youth Affairs minister Sahid Choudhury and several of his ministerial colleagues, top sports personalities, prominent citizens and sports officials are expected to attend.

All the government and government-aided schools in Agartala, too, will send their teaching faculty and students to the stadium to cheer Tripura’s golden girl.

From the airport, where Dipa will arrive at 9.30 a.m., a cavalcade will take her and Nandi to the Vivekananda Stadium.

The quiet border city will be abuzz while welcoming its biggest hero.