A 71-year-old man would have never known that his journey to Erode would turn out to be a nightmare as he lay unaided for 16-hours inside Kovai Express. He is now battling for his life in Chennai.
Venkatachalam was travelling from Chennai central railway station to Erode in Kovai Express on Wednesday. He fell unconscious between two toilets in D9 coach and was finally noticed by a ticket examiner Nihal Singh near Tirupur after his phone was repeatedly ringing.
Apparently, his sons who live in Mogappair were making calls and the ticket examiner found him when the train was returning to Chennai.
To Venkatachalamâ€™s familyâ€™s shock, when the train reached Chennai central railway station at 10:30pm, he was lying in front of the toilet with a bleeding nose and was rushed to Apollo emergency medical care. He was later shifted to Billroth hospital and admitted in the ICU.
Venkatachalamâ€™s son, V Umaanath told The Times of India, â€śHe must have been mistaken for a beggar or a drunkard. People actually trod on him while going in and coming out of the toilet. My father was dressed in a white shirt and veshti that seem to have been used for people to clean footwear after coming out of the toilets.â€ť
A spokesperson for Southern Railway told TOI that the Kovai Express was usually checked by maintenance staff at Coimbatore station before it returns to Chennai. However, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers said that they often found unconscious people inside the trains.
Umaanath feels that if his father had been helped by the ticket examiner or a railway staff, he could have been admitted to the hospital earlier. Venkatachalam had low blood pressure and because he did not have food for 24-hours, his health became worse.
This story was first reported by Siddharth Prabhakar of The Times of India.