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Dipa Karmakar becomes first Indian gymnast to qualify for Olympics

Indian Gymnast, Dipa Karmakar makes history

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The latest poster girl of Indian sport, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, will be in Delhi next week. There will be another round of interviews and electronic shoots as the young lady is out training for the Rio Olympic Games, barely a hundred days away.

Like quite a few well-known athletes before her, Dipa, too, has attained stardom despite the system, as it is said about some other illustrious sportspersons.

The Tripura girl has worked her way up from the backwaters of Indian sport to create history by qualifying for the Rio Olympics from a discipline which hardly gets much attention, gymnastics.

To be fair, she has received a fair share of support from government as well as non-governmental organisations, inspired by some of the greatest sportspersons the country can be proud of.

When one talks of the system, it is about the working of the national sports federations and associations affiliated to them and their role in helping and promoting deserving girls and boys to pursue their interests.

Dipa is too innocent to think or worry about the shenanigans in the Gymnastics Federation of India (GFI) which has split down the middle. At 22, she may be aware and bothered about the rival factions fighting to gain control of the federation, but she has kept herself above the petty politics of the officials in pursuit of goal.

She has also not forgotten how she faced humiliation at the national camps, awestruck by the girls coming from affluent families and big cities. She did not allow herself to be rattled by petty considerations, focusing on sport trusting her abilities. All she knew as that she has the talent and the best place for her to showcase it is the gymnastics arena.

Not all Dipas of the world may get exposed to the best training methods or competition internationally, but they are taken care of by sincere, dedicated coaches working within their limitations.

Now she has prepared her lines well to face the media. Now her coach Bisweswar Nandi is also known to the whole gymnastics world and he, too, is not going overboard about her protege. Both think and say that qualifying for the Rio Games is only the beginning. They have plenty of wok to do for her to be at her best.

First thing she said was that she has to improve her landing and also work on a few more things to hold her own at the world’s biggest stage. Her gold at the qualifying event in Rio is remarkable and that will give her confidence to raise the bar.

She may say that she will work hard for a medal at the Games, but in her heart of hearts she knows that putting up her life’s best performance is as good as winning metal of any hue. All of a sudden everyone in authority has realised that she has not much time left and the experts in the field, importantly her own coach, will have to quickly decide whether she should go overseas for one last training stint.

In almost all disciplines, the Olympic qualifiers are out training and competing overseas. The government is willing to provide athletes like Dipa the moon at this juncture. Her father, a weightlifting coach at the Sports Authourity of India (SAI) centre in Agartala, knows what’s good for her and he will give the best advice, too.

The exposure she got at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games made her to aim big and her progress from then on pretty steady. She was thrilled to perform on equipment that she doesn’t get to in India. Soon after the Games, some thoughtful babu in the government shifted the equipment to Agartala for her to make best use of it. There is nothing better than getting to train in familiar environs and in Dipa’s case it has proved to be a big boon.

In the next four years before the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, she had come a long way and became the first Indian woman gymnast to win a medal in the Games history.

It was not her bronze that shook the sporting world, but her performing a Produnova made it sensational. It’s not easy to perform Produnova, named after the exploits of of former European champion Elena Produnova of Russia. Among the current crop of gymnasts only five have shown the capabilities to pull it off and Dipa is the third.

The feat is as dangerous as it is breathtaking and she has recorded an impressive score for her daredevilry. She wants it to be a lot smoother and her coach feels there is still a little scope for improvement.

Improve she will, now that she is motivated to win a medal at Rio after winning the vaults gold at the test event, a day after qualifying for the Games.

After P.T. Usha, M.C. Mary Kom, Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal, now Dipa has made Indian women athletes proud. Here is another role model! (IANS)

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.