In a country where sports other than cricket aren’t very well received, it is fairly common to see athletes from different sports getting unfair treatment by train and rail authorities. Ignorance plays a huge role in this unfair treatment as these authorities are often unaware of athletes other than cricketers, and don’t quite behave in the most appropriate manner.
Now, while non cricketers face a lot of slack by authorites, the para athletes find themselves even further down in the pecking order. Survana Raj, a para-athlete was at the receiving end of this unfair treatment, being forced to sleep on the floor of the train, as she was provided the upper berth by the railway authorities.
She was travelling in the Nagpur-Delhi Garib Rath and even complained to the TTE regarding the situation but was told that there were no seats available.
“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,” Suvarna told TOI.
Suvarna suffers a 90% disability due to polio.
— Pradeep Raj (@pradeeprajtweet) June 10, 2017
“Want to meet Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and tell him about the problems we have to face while travelling in trains,” she said.
Suvrana is an international para-athlete having represented India in the Thailand Para Table Tennis Open 2013 and coming back with two medals as well. She even participated in the Asian Para Table Tennis event in South Korea in 2014.