Fighting poverty, Moumita wins four titles in junior national table tennis

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Vadodara, Jan 12: Moumita Dutta could not dream of such a glittering evening on Wednesday, January 11, in Vadodara.

She had to take part in seven grueling matches in a day in the junior national table tennis championship.

Table Tennis Federation of India (official logo)

She clinched four titles to become the first girl table tennis player in recent times from Bengal to do so. She has been a champion in the youth category, runners in the junior category, runners in the junior singles and in the junior doubles.

But that is not the actual story. Moumita's struggle for the last 10 years to survive and excel in her game looks like a fairy tale.

Moumita’s mother Mamoni Dutta works as a temporary nurse in a household. Moumita’s father Gourishankar Dutta is a security guard.

They live in a place named Naihati, around 35 kilometers from Kolkata. But they do not have the financial capacity even to take a room on rent. All of them live in a garage of their uncle’s house.

Speaking over the phone from Vadodara Moumita said: “But I could not say it to anybody that I have torn my shoes. I knew it would be possible for my mother to buy a new pair of playing shoes.”

Moumita’s coach Mihir Ghosh looked anxious despite such a huge success from one of his best students.

Ghosh said: “Till now the members of our club in Naihati including myself and Moumita’s former coach Amit Mukherjee have been donating to fulfill the requirements of Moumita to continue her table tennis.

"Moumita needs around Rs 5000 to 6000 to continue her game. But now as she is going to enter the world of senior level, she will need more financial support. Otherwise, it will be difficult for her to continue with excellence as she has been doing now.”

Even after having created history Moumita also seemed worried, commenting: “I do not how long more I will be able to continue. We are so poor that it might be difficult for me unless anybody comes forward with some financial assistance.”

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