Suvarna Raj, an international para-athlete and social worker, was forced to sleep on the floor after she was allegedly denied lower berth on the Nagpur-Delhi Garib Rath train. The para-athlete was initially allotted an upper berth in a coach reserved for the differently-abled. But when Suvarna approached the railway authorities, requesting them to allot her a lower berth, she was told that there were no seats available, reported the Times of India.
“I tried contacting the coach attendant and the TTE, asking for an alternative seat, but I was told that I had to manage with whatever I had since the coach was full. I asked for a blanket, but I was denied that too. The attendant told me that the compartment has a fixed number of blankets, which had been allotted to passengers. I had paid the full fare. Still, I did not have a seat and had to lie down on the floor near the toilet,” TOI quoted her as saying.
Suvarna, who is wheelchair bound, suffers 90 per cent disability due to polio. “Want to meet Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and tell him about the problems we have to face while travelling in trains,” she told news agency ANI.
Suvarna Raj participated in the Thailand Para Table Tennis Open 2013 and won two medals. She also participated in the 2014 Asian Para Games held in South Korea. She now runs an organisation for the differently-abled and fought the Delhi MCD polls on Swaraj India ticket from Begumpur.