Para-athlete Suvarna Raj was allotted an upper berth when she boarded the Garib Rath train from Nagpur-New Delhi in spite of buying a differently-abled ticket. The 34-year old then was forced to spend her night on the floor when her repeated requests were ignored by the concerned authorities
“It’s been more than 12 hours. I called the TTE 10 times. He never came. No one came to check the ticket also. I haven’t even been able to use the washroom, I had a ticket in the differently abled coach, but was allotted an upper berth. I had to sleep on the floor. There was no one to ask us if we wanted anything. I am not asking for international standards, just some that we, as humans, deserve.” Suvarna told CNN-News 18 while still on the train over a call.
A lot of support poured in over the social media for Suvarna as requests were made to the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to address the issue.
Deepa Malik who became the first woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio last year and is also the holder of the prestigious Arjuna award expressed resentment and concern over the matter stating, "This is a matter of concern. It’s tough for para-athletes to travel... I will be happy to join any
Suvarna is the holder of two medals which she won at the Thailand Para Table Tennis Open in 2013 and has also competed in the Asian Para Games in South Korea. The 34-year old runs an NGO for the differently abled and is a renowned social activist in the field. Moreover, she also contested the recent Delhi civic polls for the Swaraj India party.
Gursharan Singh, vice-president of the Paralympics Committee of India, responded to the incident by saying that he will take up the matter with the Railway Ministry.