Badminton Asia mourns the passing of Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta
The badminton fraternity was indeed shocked by the sudden demise of Badminton Asia Vice President and Badminton World Federation (BWF) council member Dr Akilesh Das Gupta. The community within Badminton Asia is now mourning the passing of Dr Gupta.
Dr Gupta, 56, reportedly suffered a heart attack and passed away in the morning of local time on Wednesday in Lucknow, India.
Badminton Asia President, Mr.Anton Subowo extended deepest condolences to the family of the late Gupta on his untimely demise on behalf of the Badminton Asia.
"The late Dr Gupta had contributed much to the development and rise of badminton in this region. His untimely death leaves a big gap in the game for which he made immense contributions at all levels," said Mr.Subowo.
At the time of his passing, besides holding the posts of Vice-President of Badminton Asia and a BWF council member; Dr Gupta was also the President of Badminton Association of India,
Dr. Gupta with Badminton Asia Secretary General Mr. Kim Hong Ki, Greg
Under his leadership badminton in India also reached new heights with P.V. Sindhu winning the women's singles silver medal at the 2016 RIO Olympics Games; a first for Indian badminton after Saina Nehwal won the bronze at the London Olympics in 2012. Dr Gupta was also the brain behind the highly successful Premier Badminton League in India. The league managed to draw all the best players in the world.
The Congress leader was the son of former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Banarasi Das and was a former Union Minister. Dr Gupta and also served as Mayor of Lucknow, apart from having stakes in real estate and several educational institutions.
The late Dr Gupta, twice elected to the Indian Parliament in 1996 and 2002, once said during an interview with Indian Express that "Politics is not my profession. It is my hobby."
He was an all-round sportsman in swimming, lawn tennis, chess and cricket apart from badminton and was instrumental in organizing and facilitating many national and international level tournaments such as the India Open Super Series and Syed Modi Memorial Grand Prix Gold.
At the time of death Dr Gupta was also the Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association.
He also conceived the idea of establishing a world class badminton academy in the City of Lucknow to ensure that a full-fledged badminton academy and an indoor sports complex are established for the promotion and development of badminton not only for the State of Uttar Pradesh, which is the biggest state in India, but for the entire country.
He was elected BWF council member for the term 2013-2017 and re-nominated for the coming BWF elections scheduled for next month.
The highly-educated Dr Gupta will also be remembered as educationist, professor, businessman, industrialist, publisher, builder, statesman and sport enthusiast.