Paddler Takeme Sarkar finally set to return from Spain on May 31

Indian table tennis player Takeme Sarkar will return home after being stuck in Spain for close to three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Takeme Sarkar

Takeme Sarkar had gone to Spain in February for an invitational Spanish League tournament but could not return on March 24 owing to the pandemic.   -  G. RAMAKRISHNA

Indian paddler Takeme Sarkar, who has been stuck in Spain for about three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, will return home on May 31.

The India No. 14, who hails from Siliguri in West Bengal, had gone to Spain in February for an invitational Spanish League tournament but could not return on March 24 owing to the pandemic.

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“Thankfully my prayers were answered and a flight has been arranged by the Indian embassy in Madrid on May 31,” Sarkar told PTI from Priego de Cordoba, about 400kms from Madrid.

Takeme said she hoped not to be quarantined for two weeks in New Delhi upon returning and requested the West Bengal government to arrange for her return to Siliguri.

“I’ve spent so much in these three months in Spain. Two of my flight tickets had to be cancelled and the return ticket is booked for double the price. It would be difficult for me to be quarantined in New Delhi again. So I request the West Bengal government to arrange my return,” the 27-year-old said.

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In between, her cousin brother died in a road accident back home but she could not attend his funeral as she was stranded in her apartment in Spain.

“My family has been in a state of shock after the tragedy and they were just praying for my safe return. It’s been a harrowing experience living alone in an apartment in Spain. All my fellow players had returned and I was all alone,” she said.

“Everything was closed so I had to cook for myself and was eating the same dal, khichdi everyday. Finally I can look to go back to home,” she added.