India’s newest sporting stars Thangavelu Mariyappan and Varun Bhati who won Gold and Bronze for the country at the Rio Paralympics are being offered a sponsored trip on the world’s most luxurious train, the Maharajas’ Express.
The gesture comes from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which operates the award-winning luxury train, in honour of the two sportsmen who opened the Paralympics medal tally for India in style.
On Saturday, 20-year-old Mariyappan Thangavelu became the first Indian high jumper to win a Paralympics gold after he sailed over the 1.89 m mark in the men’s high jum
p T-42 event. Bhati made a leap of 1.86m to claim bronze.
“We are proud to honour these athletes who have fought incredible odds to bring glory to the country,” said IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr A K Manocha.
The IRCTC had earlier offered sponsored trips to the Olympics medal winners — badminton star PV Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik — as well as gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who became the first Indian woman to make it to the finals of an Olympic gymnastics event and who missed a medal by a whisker.
Maharajas’s Express, a signature product of the IRCTC, offers five royal journeys with different cabins in India starting at USD 3850 to USD 22700.