Tamil Nadu Pole vaulter Pavithra, her equipment thrown out of train; demands action

Tamil Nadu pole vaulter Pavithra Venkatesh demanded action to be taken against the Railway authorities, who had pushed her and four of her teammates and their equipments out of the train for not getting the requisite permission for the pole vaults.

Pavithra Venkatesh of Tamil Nadu in action.   -  K. RAGESH

The video of Tamil Nadu pole vaulter Pavithra Venkatesh speaking about the Railway authorities, who had pushed her and four of her teammates and their equipments out of the train for not getting the requisite permission for the pole vaults, has gone viral among the athletes. And it has forced the Tamil Nadu Athletic Association (TNAA) to take up the issue.

The athletes had taken the morning train on Wednesday from Thiruvananthapuram after the Nationals jumps competition. The lady Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kollam said it was not within the rules to carry equipments without the requisite permission.

“Despite we asking her to give us time, the TTE refused and we were pushed and our pole vaults were thrown on the track. There is no respect for sportspersons. We want the authorities to take action against the TTE,” said Pavithra, who had just won the gold medal in Thiruvananthapuram, to Sportstar.

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Stranded in Kollam, Pavithra and her friends gave a complaint to the Kollam TTE and booked the next train to her hometown Salem through online booking.

“It was very tough time for us as we had to wait for around three hours for the next train. Nobody should go through what we went through,” added Pavithra, whose father, a labourer, is the sole breadwinner of the family.

C. Latha, Secretary of TNAA, said it was shocking that a sports loving state such as Kerala has treated sportspersons in such a manner. We will soon be writing to the Southern Railway authorities.”

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