23-year-old Ghanaian footballer Juan Muller made the Mumbai International airport his home for 74 days before being helped by the Yuva Sena in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country. Yuva Sena member, Rahul Kanal is helping Muller with accommodation at a Bandra hotel till international flight operations resume or a rescue flight is arranged for him by the Ghanaian government.
Speaking to India Today, Muller, who is residing at a Bandra hotel, opened up about how he coped up during the 74 days that he was at the airport before being helped by Yuva Sena members.
“I want to thank Mr. Rahul Kanal for helping me out along with various others who had been helping me all those days at the airport. I am a sportsperson and the only thing that kept me going was that I had to think like a soldier and somehow survive.”
Muller had been in India since November last year playing for the ORPC football club in Kerala. In a bid to get back home, Muller reached Mumbai before the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country. He tried looking for accommodation as his flight was scheduled on March 30 but all hotels and dormitories were shut. He spoke to some policemen who advised him to go to the airport.
patience and faith is all you need…@CMOMaharashtra @ghanafaofficial @mohgovgh together in this…God willingly we shall come out winning…Humanity shall win over anything !!! God is Great ???? no words just love and Respect for you @AUThackeray ji pic.twitter.com/mIg0Mrl6qG
— Rahul.N.Kanal (@Iamrahulkanal) June 3, 2020
At the airport, he met two other persons one from Spain and another from India who were also stuck at the airport. They spent time together and after a few days policemen took them to a shelter home in Andheri but he had to return to the airport in a few days.
Help from CISF and airlines officials
Muller recalled how CISF officials and a few others helped him during his stay at the airport.
“At the airport, I stayed here and there wherever I could find space. CISF officials JP and Chandra had been helping me with food and other things like blankets, an airline official Pramila and some officials from Krystal housekeeping and Spicejet airline also helped me. They gave me money and always looked after my well being and provided me with food.
“My phone got damaged after a few days which when JP came to know, he informed his superior from CISF and he provided me with another phone which helped me keep in touch with my family in Ghana.”
He added on how things changed after airline operations resumed at the airport “As the domestic airlines started operating, the airport was busy with passengers. It was then that JP told me one day to tweet about my condition and seek help. Mr. Rahul Kanal came to the airport and rescued me and now has put me in a hotel and it’s nice. The Ghanaian government also has contacted me and is trying for a rescue flight.”
Rahul Kanal from Yuva Sena said “The tweet by Juan Muller caught Aditya Ji’s attention and he informed us to immediately get in touch with him and help and reach out to him. Whenever one person tweets we have a huge team working on that, it was a surprise that something like that happened in our country.
“We are thankful to the person who tweeted about Juan Muller and his condition and Aditya ji who brought this to our attention and we could help him in whatever way possible.”
Juan Muller has been lodged in a Bandra Hotel and Yuva Members are helping him further with whatever things he needs till the time a rescue flight is arranged for his return home by the Ghanaian government.