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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Air India in trouble? Activists demand inquiry

The disabled rights activists are demanding an inquiry into the incident where a physically challenged passenger was made to crawl on the tarmac of the Delhi airport. The activists want the Civil Aviation Ministry to set-up an inquiry and punish the guilty for gross negligence. Recently, a shocking event came to light when Anita Ghai, Associate Professor, Delhi University, who is physically challenged, was denied a wheelchair while de-boarding from an Air India flight in Delhi. Thus she had to "crawl" to the passenger coach after landing at the airport. 

Air India courts trouble

"Despite my repeated requests, the [air] hostess did not recognise my requirement for a wheelchair after reaching. The flight reached at 7.30 p.m. I waited patiently with one of my friends," Ghai said. "At 8:15 pm, we realised that there was no chance of [getting] a wheelchair. The [passenger] coach came at 8.30 p.m. after repeated requests from the flight commander.

Since security reasons are critical, they made me crawl to go to the coach," she alleged. "We demand an inquiry into the horrible incident where Air India made Professor Anita Ghai, a differently-abled woman passenger, crawl on the tarmac of the Delhi airport by denying her a wheelchair. The responsible persons need to be punished for this gross negligence. Air India should give an unconditional apology to the passenger. They cannot ill-treat people with disabilities in this horrible manner.

The latest guidelines on 'Carriage by Air of persons with disability or reduced mobility' must be strictly enforced in line with the goals of the 'Accessible India' campaign," said a petition on Avaaz is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere. The petition with 20,000 signatures will be submitted to the Disability Commissioner KK Pandey to investigate the matter soon.

"Let's get 20,000 signatures in the next 72 hours so that she can submit a people-powered petition to him," reads the petition. Here is the Avaaz petition: However, Air India had earlier denied the allegation. "We deeply regret any inconvenience caused to the passenger. However, we strongly deny the statement appearing in media. We at Air India give utmost importance to passenger's safety and comfort," an Air India statement said.

Source : One India News, 6th Feb 2016 

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