Three years ago, Disha Divakar, a Malayali woman, was 23 and at the peak of her career as a television anchor. A robbery attempt in a train left her partially blind and physically weak.
Disha suffered a severe head injury that left her unconscious for three months and pushed her family neck-deep in debt.
The discussion on the lack of safety for women in trains has gained momentum once again after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Soumya case. But for Disha, little has changed since that fateful day in August 2013, when she was returning to her hometown Kozhikode from Ernakulam after a shoot, in the ladies’ compartment.
Disha claims that around 6 pm, she went to use the toilet on the train. She had her bag with her.
On hearing a knock, she opened the door to step out. The robber demanded that she hand over the bag to him. When she refused to do so, he pushed her off the train. A few locals found Disha and took her to the hospital. The police recovered contents from her bag from the track a day later.
No eyewitness came forward to report the incident.
As a result of the fall, Disha completely lost vision in her left eye and has partial vision in the other. The left side of her body, including her arms and legs, have gone weak post the incident.
"I was doing well professionally at the time this happened. Having to rely on my mother for every little thing is not a pleasant feeling. I don't want my family to go through all the despair because of me," Disha told The News Minute.
The railways is yet to pay her any compensation.
Since she was unconscious for three months, Divakaran, Disha’s father, says that her story was wrongly reported.
"None of us knew how she had fallen off the train. But media reports said that she was carelessly standing near the door, talking on her mobile phone. Others speculated that she had jumped off the train. But we were sure that she wouldn't be so careless as to be carried away by a phone call. She had been regularly travelling by train at the time," Divakaran says.
When she told her story later, no police case was registered, says Divakaran. When the family was unable to pay for her medical expenses, they approached the railways for compensation.
"The accident happened because of lack of security in the train. Is it not their responsibility to take care of the passenger's safety?" asks Divakaran.
But so far, nothing has happened on that front.
"Everybody saw this happening, but nobody even pulled the train's chain. Without an eyewitness account, we are unable to claim the compensation amount," Disha says.
Disha wants to fight till she gets the compensation amount but years later, the family does not think that any passenger on the train will come forward to record their statement.