Wheelchair-bound Suvarna Raj was a Swaraj India party candidate
For 33-year-old Suvarna Raj, who lost the municipal election from Babarpur to BJP's Kusum Tomar, this is simply a bump in the road, not the end of the world. Raj was fighting the election on a Swaraj India ticket.
Sitting in a wheelchair and surrounded by her family and neighbours, Raj says, "Disabled people are not even considered a vote bank. The BJP won because of the Modi wave, not because of the work of their candidates. I will still do whatever little I can for the disabled."
Raj, whose main agenda was to work for the welfare of the disabled community, refuses to be deterred by the election result. In fact, the poll result was just one of the things on her mind on Wednesday as she ordered a birthday cake for her 6-year-old son Prasoon while packing for a visit to her ill mother in Nagpur.
Raj, who hails from Nagpur, was hit by polio when she was barely over two years old. Several surgeries made it possible for her to move around in a wheelchair. She went on to complete her Masters in Social Work and then moved to Delhi after her marriage in 2008.
"The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Bill was introduced in 2013 but was finally passed in 2017. This shows that the disabled people are not a priority. I had asked for an AAP ticket in 2013, but they did not want to give it to a disabled person," she says.
An undaunted Raj campaigned for the party in a wheelchair or an e-rickshaw. She also runs an association for disabled people with her husband Pradeep, who is partially disabled, in addition to being the Access Auditor of government's Accessible India Campaign.