A para-athlete who was forced to sleep on the floor of a train carriage when she was wrongly assigned an upper berth has called for better treatment of disabled passengers.

Suvarna Raj, an international table tennis star  who has won several medals, was travelling on the Nagpur-New Delhi Garib Rath Express with her six-year-old son and a friend and her child, all of whom were forced to sleep on the floor. 

Raj, 34, a wheelchair user, requested a lower berth when booking her ticket but was given an upper birth instead.

“I requested the train ticket examiner for a change of seat. [He] asked other passengers to swap the berth but no one was [willing],” Raj, who reached Delhi on Sunday after an overnight journey, was quoted as saying. “People were just watching. No one showed any sympathy.”

She added: “Though my friend is also disabled, she would have managed to sleep on the upper berth. But she had a three -year-old child and could not use the berth,” Hindustan Times quoted her as saying.