Indian paddler Takeme Sarkar, who has been stuck in Spain for about three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is all set to return home on May 31.
The 14th ranked India player, who hails from Siliguri in West Bengal, had reached Spain on February for an invitational Spanish League but could not return on March 24 owing to the pandemic.
"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 Córdoba, about 400kms from Madrid.
She now hopes that she is not quarantined for two weeks in New Delhi upon returning and seeks the West Bengal government's help to arrange for her return to Siliguri.
"Already 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 in 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.
In between, she lost her cousin who died in a road accident back home but 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," Sarkar said.
"Everything was closed so I had to cook for myself and was eating the same dal, khichri everyday. Finally, I can look to go back home," she trailed off.