Ankita Das, a table tennis player who represented India at the 2012 London Olympic Games, was harassed by paranoid locals in Siliguri on her return from Europe.
Amid the threat of the coronavirus pandemic, rumours spread in her locality following a false news report published in a regional newspaper in North Bengal that she had just arrived in the country and did not go into self-isolation and is carrying symptoms.
The situation had gone so much out of control that Ankita had to take to social media to clear all misinformation. In a long Facebook post, she clarified that she landed in Mumbai from Germany on March 10 before coming to Siliguri. Then, she stayed in self isolation at her home for 14 days and so far, she has shown no symptoms of Covid-19.
Olympian Ankita Das recounts how she and her family were harassed by locals who alleged that she had skipped the mandatory 14-day quarantine after returning from Europe.#IndiaBattlesCoronavirus
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) March 26, 2020
The 26-year-old paddler wrote: “Hi, this one for those who have complained about me. I would like to inform all that I am completely fine and do not have any symptoms of coronavirus. I have landed in Mumbai long back in March from Berlin.. and since then I am in continuous touch with my Doctor. I already had a thermal screening done. do not have any symptoms even after 14 days of landing.
“But some people are spreading false information stating that I have landed yesterday and spreading fear in my neighborhood keeping me in center stating that I might have the symptoms. Even a leading local newspaper spreaded the same false information via their newspaper because my neighbours gave false complaints about me..Please do not believe anyone who says that I reached yesterday in India…
“PS: I have a proof of travelling history which denies the rumour that is spreading against me.”
As the coronavirus outbreak sweeps across the world, it has very evdiently led to discrimination and harassment of different groups of people, from healthcare professionals to crew members in the airline industry. Many people who have travelled abroad in the past few weeks alleged similar instances of harassment at the hands of neighbours And now, it’s unfortunate to see that even sportspersons are being targeted.