The novel Coronavirus pandemic has not only caused all sports activity to shut down, but the travel ban in India amidst the nationwide lock down has left many athletes and sportspersons stranded in abroad. Such is the case of Takeme Sarkar, TTFI No. 14 and Railways table tennis star, who is now stuck in Spain, and has been unable to return to India to attend her brother’s funeral, who passed away from an accident in March.
Takeme flew to Spain back in February to join Hotel Museo Patria Chica club, which plays in the Spanish Table Tennis League. However, her return tickets which were booked for March were cancelled, and the paddler was unable to make it back to her hometown of Siliguri, West Bengal.
Unfortunately, her younger brother lost his life in a road accident back in March, and Takeme was not able to stand by her family in the funeral.
“My family is waiting for me back home in Siliguri. They are also in a terrible condition. I lost my younger brother in a road accident on March 23. I am shattered from inside. I am really worried about my family,” Takeme spoke to Times of India.
“I cried day and night after getting the news. Wish I was there to see my brother one last time and support my parents. I will miss him all my life. It is difficult to spend a single day here. I am really upset,” the 27 year old lamented.
Even though she is fighting through her mental agony, Takeme has received support from the club, who are helping her with with food and shelter at the academy. However, her visa has expired on 10th May, and Takeme has reached out to the Indian Embassy in Spain for assistance.
“I have requested the Embassy and they have assured me of help. I just want to go back home as soon as possible. They asked me to register and I did that as well. They said it works on a turn by turn basis. I am waiting for the day when I can go back home,” she added.
Last season, Takeme became the runner-up in the West Zone table tennis championship, competing in the women’s singles category. She also made it to the semis at the National Ranking Championships during the Central Zone back in June 2019.