Going for knee replacement, veteran poet allotted upper berth in train
Need to be sensitive, only calling disabled people ‘divyang’ won’t help, tweets Urdu poet Munawwar Rana.lucknow Updated: Apr 24, 2018 13:13 IST
Urdu poet Munawwar Rana, 66, who was travelling from Lucknow to New Delhi for his knee replacement, took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion to use the word ‘divyang’ for people with disability after he was allotted upper berth in the train.
“Only calling disabled people ‘divyang’ won’t help. One has to be sensitive towards them,” Rana tweeted after he was allotted an upper berth in Suhaildev Express on Sunday night.
He posted a series of tweets to express his anguish.
“Hum AIIMS me admit hone ke liye jaa rahe hain, 3 passengers me se 2 senior citizens hain, uske bawjood hume upper berth allot ki gayi...Kya senior citizens ko yahi facility milni chahiye?’ Rana tweeted tagging the railway ministry and railway minister Piyush Goel.
Hum AIIMS me admit hone ke liye ja rahe hain.— Munawwar Rana (@MunawwarRana) April 22, 2018
3 passengers me se 2 sr. citizens hain. uske bawajood hume upper birth allot ki gayi hai.
Kya senior citizens ko yahi facility milti hai ?@PiyushGoyal@RailMinIndia
In his second tweet, he also posted his PNR number and berth details.
Rana said thankfully a co-passenger offered his own berth to make their journey comfortable.
He was travelling with two other passengers – Munawwar Jafri, 68, and Adil Rasheed, 52 – on PNR number 2726069792 and boarded the train from Lucknow in AC-II.
“Railways has to be more sensitive towards senior citizens. All three of us were given upper berth making a sheer mockery of our age,” said Rana.
“We were clueless as to how to climb up the berth as our knees are not much supportive,” he said, adding it was insensitive on the part of railways which compelled them to plead for berths from co-passengers.
“It’s not our age and stature to beg for berth. What do titles like ‘Saraswati Putra’ mean for us when railways don’t even have the courtesy to respect our age,” he said.
Chief public relations officer, Northern Railways (NR), Nitin Chowdhary said: “Berth allocation system is programmed in a manner to give priority to senior citizens and female passengers in allocation of lower berths. However, once the lower berths get reserved, there is no choice but to allocate upper berths.”
“As per the allocation system in AC-II, there is a provision to allocate only three lower berths on first come, first serve basis. It can be a woman above 45 years, a pregnant woman or any senior citizen,” he said.