Taking up the case of a differently-abled woman,who was offloaded from a SpiceJet flight in Kolkata on Sunday,Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik on Wednesday met Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh and sought an inquiry into the incident besides firm and speedy action against the guilty.
Wasnik is learnt to have pointed out to Singh that airlines must be sensitive towards the needs of differently-abled people and both crew and the staff must be educated and specially trained for this purpose. Similar incidents have come to light in the past as well and it was high time a drive is launched to sensitise airline officials and flight crew to make them aware of the difficulties and challenges faced by differently-abled persons,it was conveyed.
Jeeja Ghosh,a cerebral palsy patient who teaches at Kolkatas Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy,was deplaned on February 19 after the pilot felt she was not fit to travel on her own. The incident triggered an uproar and led to demands for action against the airline. The Social Justice Ministry said it views the incident as a serious violation of the rights of persons with disability. Wasnik,during his meeting with Singh,insisted that an inquiry should be ordered into the incident immediately.
Sources said Wasnik also conveyed to Singh that his ministry has been receiving complaints of insensitive attitude by various airlines towards differently-abled persons. For instance,he is learnt to have pointed out that several airlines have not installed ambu-lift for unassisted entry and exit for incapacitated passengers. Most of the airlines do not have such facility and it adds to the discomfort of disabled passengers.
In this case,Ghosh has already written to Wasnik seeking action against the airline,especially the pilot.