International para-athlete forced to sleep on floor in train; Suresh Prabhu orders probe

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New Delhi | Updated: Jun 11, 2017 5:20 PM

Suvarna Raj, an international para-athlete turned social worker, today alleged she had to sleep on the floor of a train after the Railways didn't allot her a lower berth.

suvarna raj, indian railways, para athlete, suvarna raj train, train para athlete incident, suresh prabhuInternational para-athlete Suvarna Raj. (ANI)

Suvarna Raj, an international para-athlete turned social worker, today alleged she had to sleep on the floor of a train after the Railways didn’t allot her a lower berth, according to ANI. Raj has now demanded to meet Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, asking him to take cognizance on this matter. “I want to meet Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and tell him about the problems we have to face while traveling in trains. Disabled people suffer a lot in trains,” Raj told ANI.

Reports said that Raj had sought help from railway authorities for the allotment of a lower berth in the compartment reserved for the disabled. But the railway officials allegedly turned down her appeal citing non-availability of berths. At last, she decided to sleep on the floor of the compartment. Raj alleged that while booking the ticket, she had indicated that she was disabled. She was allotted a berth in coach number GD-2, reserved for disabled passengers. But when she boarded the coach, she saw it was an upper berth.

Raj suffers from 90 percent disability due to polio infection at a younger age. She had represented India in the Asian Para Games in South Korea in 2014 and won two medals at the Thailand Para Table Tennis Open 2013. At present, Raj runs an organisation for the disabled people. She is also working on ‘Accessible India Campaign’, a campaign by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for achieving worldwide accessibility for people with disabilities, reports ANI.

Meanwhile, Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a probe into the way Suvarna Raj was treated in a train.
“Have ordered enquiry in the issue. We are serious about ensuring smooth travel for Divyangs,” Prabhu tweeted.

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