I-League footballer's home in danger of being washed out, seeks refuge in village clubhouse
After cyclone Amphan last year, Real Kashmir goalkeeper Mithun Samanta is once again at the mercy of nature with cyclone Yaas about to bulldoze his home.
Real Kashmir FC goalkeeper Mithun Samanta has been forced to leave his home in his native Kakdwip, West Bengal, due to the impending arrival of cyclone Yaas.
The 28-year-old footballer, whose home was devastated last year as well during Amphan, had started building a new house, the construction of which unfortunately couldn't be completed in time. As a result, he has been forced to seek shelter in the clubhouse of his village in order to keep his parents safe. Speaking to Bengali daily Aajkal, Mithun said, ""I tried but couldn't complete the construction in time. Our rented home has an asbestos roof. I can't risk staying there with my parents. The Muri Ganga river is fuming, the village can get flooded. I am not able to sleep at night in fear."
Located in the district of South 24 Parganas, Kakdwip is a coastal and low-lying area prone to extensive damage during cyclones due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. At the time of writing this, a 'Red Alert' has already been issued there and in nearby districts by the state government with evacuation efforts also underway. Last year during Amphan, Mithun and his parents were left with broken mud walls and an almost completely wrecked thatched roof. With his residence being barely 600m from the Muri Ganga river, the family's betel farm had also been washed away by the heavy rain.
Having started playing professional football a little more than four years ago, the former TRAU FC and Mohun Bagan goalie has admittedly spent most of his savings on the family's farm and in protecting their meagre belongings. A consistent fixture in Real Kashmir's I-League campaign this season, the goalkeeper made 13 league appearances and was a key contributor towards the side finishing 5th on the table.
However, his current situation once again highlights the plight of athletes who do not come from Tier 1 cities and therefore fail to have their voices heard. For context, after his misfortune last year, West Bengal Sports Minister Arup Biswas had said, ""All sportspersons affected by Cyclone Amphan have received help from our government. Nobody will go hungry. We will do the needful to assist Mithun." The jury is still out on that.