Mouma Das loses luggage in transit, returns home frustrated

Mouma’s luggage, which contains her full India kit and mementoes, from Australia, is held up by the Customs officials, in New Delhi airport domestic terminal.

Mouma Das has made an appeal to the Sports Ministry — through Twitter — to ensure that her luggage reaches on time, before her departure for the Sweden World Team Championship, next week.   -  Getty Images

Commonwealth Games (CWG) medallist paddler Mouma Das, on Tuesday, returned home with frustration and anger, after she lost her luggage in transit.

Her luggage, which contains her full India kit and mementoes, from Australia, is held up by the Customs officials, in New Delhi airport domestic terminal. However, by evening, she got an assurance that the luggage will be delivered at her doorstep, by Wednesday.

“Souvenir bag, gifted by Gold Coast CWG, had one power bank, which Mouma did not check. That is why it was held back. After multiple checks, Jet Airways have promised to send her baggage by tomorrow,” Mouma’s husband Kanchan Chakraborty said.

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She had, earlier, made an appeal to the Sports Ministry — through Twitter — to ensure that her luggage reaches on time, before her departure for the Sweden World Team Championship, next week.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, later, asked Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials to immediately look into the matter.

“At the moment my focus is on two things — to get back my luggage and then think of World Team Championships. I don’t know, I can’t even start training without my luggage. It has everything — from my rubber, kits, shoes, all the equipment,” a frustrated Mouma, a member of the historic gold medal-winning women’s team, said, from her residence.

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The 10-member Indian table tennis team was the toast of the nation, after winning eight medals (three gold, two silver and three bronze), in the just-concluded Gold Coast CWG, their best ever show, to finish at the top of the rankings. Mouma had won a gold in the women’s team event and a silver in women’s doubles.

The team landed in New Delhi, at 5.30 am, on Tuesday, and following a felicitation, Mouma took a 10.30 am Jet Airlines flight to Kolkata, as her luggage was held back in the transit.

According to Mouma, the Customs Officers claimed that a power bank was found in her luggage, so it was held back. “I never used a power bank, I don’t know whether they actually checked my luggage or someone else’s. If there was any objectionable article in my luggage, then how did it come from Gold Coast?” Mouma asked.

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The senior paddler also took to Twitter to vent her anger on Jet Airways and pleaded Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for “help“.

 

 

 

Mouma is expecting the issue to be resolved so that she can focus on the World Team Championship, which can earn a quota place for the Tokyo Olympics.

“The federation will go for visa tomorrow, as we are expected to leave early. I don’t know whether I will be around during the 2020 Olympics, but it will be a matter of immense satisfaction if I could earn the berth for the country. However, retirement has not crossed my mind yet. My body is coping well and as long as I do that, I will keep playing,” the 34-year-old said.

Mouma and her doubles partner Manika Batra lost to Tianwei Feng and Mengyu Yu of Singapore, 3-0, to settle for a silver. Asked about it, Mouma said: “We don’t get many opportunities in doubles. Our aim will be to improve our rankings in doubles so that we play World Cup events."

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“They (Singaporeans) had done their homework well. We later realised from the vidoes that they planned for every point in that match,” she rued.

After the World Team Championships, the Indians have Asian Games lined up, in August, and Mouma said that it would be a tough contest in Indonesia.

“With Chinese, Koreans and Japanese, the contest would be tough there, but we have not yet thought, about now. We are looking to do well in Sweden and who knows, we can create history in Indonesia,” she concluded.