With help from CISF, housekeeping and security staff, 23-year-old footballer Randy Juan Muller lived at the Mumbai airport for two-and-half months.
A stranded 23-year-old footballer from Ghana, Randy Juan Muller, had to spend 72 days at Mumbai airport after the government cancelled all international flights to and from India. Muller had come to India to play for a sports club in Kerala.
After spending two-and-half months at the airport, Muller was taken from the airport to a hotel in Bandra. According to reports, he was living at the Mumbai airport since March 21 as he was not able to fly home.
The footballer came to India in November 2019 to play for ORPC Sports Club in Kerala. “I came here on a six-month visa. We only get around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 per match. I hardly played any matches and had spent around Rs 1.5 lakh for visa and tickets," Muller said sharing his ordeal.
"After the lockdown was announced in India, I planned to return home and even bought a flight ticket for March 30 from Mumbai to Ghana via Kenya. But before I could return, the government cancelled all international flights and I was stuck here," he added.
Muller said Andheri police told him to go to the airport after he could not find a dormitory. With help from CISF, housekeeping and security staff, he lived at the Mumbai airport for 72 days.
Many travellers who were on the rescue flights saw Muller and gave him food, money and books too. One of the passengers gave me a book called 'Be Your Own Therapist'. It saved me from depression, he said, adding that a CISF jawan at the airport gave him a phone and asked him to tweet to ask for help.Muller's tweet gained traction and was eventually seen by Shiv Sena Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who directed a Yuva Sena functionary to shift him to a hotel.
Ghanian Footballer stranded for 74 days due to lockdown at Mumbai International Airport... @rogee99 ,23 years wanted to thank @AUThackeray ji and @AbhaGoradia ji he was crying in happinesss when I met him at the airport , best feeling a youth could get and yes pic.twitter.com/F3gaYwfwts
— Rahul.N.Kanal (@Iamrahulkanal) June 3, 2020
"When Aaditya saw his tweet, he told us to help Muller. We have shifted him to a hotel in Bandra, where he will stay until the restrictions on international travel is lifted," said Rahul Kanal, a Yuva Sena functionary.
Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here