Manika Batra Slams Air India Over Boarding Chaos
The poster girl of CWG 2018, Manika Batra, on Sunday tweeted about the Indian table tennis team’s ordeal at the boarding gate of national carrier Air India. Along with Batra, six other top paddlers were left stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after being denied boarding on a Melbourne flight, ANI reported. They were heading for an international tournament.
The team of seven suffered as the flight was overbooked. Left with no choice, Batra, who had tagged Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office in her tweet, wrote:
Batra later posted more details with a photograph of herself on Twitter with a boarding pass in hand. She thanked Neelam Kapur, Director General of Sports Authority of India, for taking prompt action and getting the tickets booked.
Later, in a statement, the Air India spokesperson apologised and said, “This was a very unfortunate incident, we apologise to the players and we are arranging next available flights.”
This is not the first time our athletes were treated badly at the airport. Wile the Indian cricket team travels in an aircraft, shooters were detained for 12 hours at the airport on their way back from a Grand Prix. Even the Indian women’s hockey team members, on their way back from Rio Olympics, were forced to sit on the floor of the Bokaro-Alleppey Express Train. An entire contingent of National-level athletes – who made India proud with their stellar performances – ended up sleeping on the floor of a train while returning from the Junior National Athletics Championships last year. Para-athlete Suvarna Raj was forced to sleep on the floor of a train she was travelling in — stories of sportspersons getting ill treatment never end.
The nation is disappointed!
The ITTF World Tour Australian Open starts on Monday (July 23).