Tanuka's death leaves many shocked

Ramanuj Mukhopadhyay, the vice-president of the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) and the president of the Bengal Amateur Swimming Association (BASA), said the news of Tanuka’s death was hard to believe.

Tanuka Dhara was found dead in her flat in Mumbai on Thursday morning.

Diver Tanuka Dhara’s death has shocked the swimming fraternity in her home State Bengal.

Ramanuj Mukhopadhyay, the vice-president of the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) and the president of the Bengal Amateur Swimming Association (BASA), said the news of Tanuka’s death was hard to believe.

“The news of her death was a big shock to me. I have known Tanuka since her childhood as she used to compete regularly in club and State meets here before moving to Mumbai (after getting a job with Western Railway).

“It is hard to believe that a person of a gentle disposition like Tanuka could meet with such a tragic end. It is not possible she took her own life at a moment when she was planning for her future by investing a lot in buying an apartment in Mumbai. Everyone I have spoken to used to say good things about her. She was a talented diver and used to win medals in almost every event she participated. I hope the authorities do a thorough investigation in finding out the true cause behind such a tragic end,” said Mukhopadhyay.

Prominent swimming coach Surajit Ganguly, who was away in Hyderabad, was equally disturbed. “Tanuka was a very nice and polite person. Her house is very close to mine in Bali, Howrah. I have seen her come to the pool to learn swimming as a young kid. She used to be good at gymnastics also. Later she switched to diving. I don’t know how to call her family and what to say,” said Ganguly.

Tanuka was found dead in her flat in Mumbai on Thursday morning.

Our Mumbai bureau adds:

Tanuka was posted at Western Railway HQ, Churchgate as a Junior Clerk. She was recruited in 2015 as a sportsperson.

Tanuka, representing the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) won a silver medal in 1m springboard diving at the 70th Senior National Aquatics Championships, earning second place behind Maharashtra’s Simran Rajini at the competition held in Ranchi’s VBB stadium. She played a part in RSPB bagging the team title in women’s diving.

She was a versatile performer, winning a bronze in 3m springboard diving at the 69th Senior National Aquatics in Rajkot. “Tanuka’s demise is a setback to Indian swimming. She was a smiling, hard-working and intelligent person. In the pool or in office, she was helpful. Even when on special leave availed by sportspersons, she would come to clear files,” noted Diana Edulji, former India women’s cricket captain.

RSPB is a force in swimming due to recruitment of talented sportspersons. “Tanuka was recruited during my tenure in Western Railway through open recruitment. I know her as an intelligent and cheerful personality. I have no idea about the reason for the end coming this way,” said Padma Shri awardee Diana, who retired recently.