Prof. With Physical Ailment Alleges Air India Denied Her A Wheelchair, Made Her ‘Crawl’

Posted on February 1, 2016 in News

News by YKA Staff: 

An Ambedkar University professor suffering from a physical ailment that restricts her movements has alleged that Air India denied her a wheelchair and made her crawl part of the way after her flight landed. The national carrier has denied the allegations.

A petition on a website that is demanding action in the incident states that Ghai arrived in Delhi from Dehradun on January 29. In a Facebook post, Ghai has stated that she arrived with four colleagues who boarded the flight with her.

According to Ghai, after the flight landed, she was made to wait for half-an-hour but no wheelchair was provided to her. Subsequently, she was made to crawl her way to the coach.

Re: complaint for non availability of wheel chairI boarded an Air India flight with four of my colleagues on January…

Posted by Ghai Bholi on Sunday, 31 January 2016

The airline has categorically denied her charges. It claims that a wheelchair was indeed provided to Ghai. However, Ghai has claimed that the airline was “lying”. She is also reportedly contemplating legal action.

As Ghai wrote herself in one of her FB posts following the incident, on one hand the PM Narendra Modi speaks of using the appellation Divyang (divine body) for people with long-lasting physical ailments, while on the other hand, the institutional apathy towards them remains a cause for concern, regardless of whether Air India is guilty in this issue or not.

Ghai is also an activist for the rights of people with long-term physical ailments that pose restrictions on their activities.

What is required is a comprehensive policy that looks specifically into creating a more inclusive and equitable society for those with long-lasting physical ailments, instead of being condescending, or in the worst cases, apathetic and callous.