Disability Rights Alliance


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Disabled woman passenger alleges Air India made her 'crawl'

Jan 31, 2016

NEW DELHI : A disabled woman passenger has alleged she had to "crawl" to the passenger coach after deboarding an Air India plane as the carrier failed to arrange a wheel chair for her due to "security" reasons, a charge denied by the airline.

The government-run airline claimed a wheel chair was provided to the passenger at aircraft doorstep itself.

The incident took place yesterday when Anita Ghai, a Delhi University associate professor, landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi by Alliance Air (Air India's regional arm) from Dehradun and requested for a wheel chair.

"I boarded this flight with four of my colleagues. Despite my repeated request, the (air) hostess did not cognize my requirement for a wheel chair after reaching. The flight reached at 7:30 pm. I waited patiently with one of my friends," she said


Air India in trouble? Activists demand inquiry


Bengaluru, Feb 6: 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.

"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.org.

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: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Civil_Aviation_Minister_Ashok_Gajapathi_Raju_Inquiry_into_HORRIBLE_INCIDENT_making_disabled_woman_passenger_CRAWL/?bsSthib&v=72574&cl=9473467683

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.