Tuesday, February 02, 2016

AI 'regrets' incident, prof not placated

New Delhi: Air India responded on Monday to the allegations made by disabled rights activist professor Anita Ghai that the airline had insulted her by denying her the use of a wheelchair at Indira Gandhi International Airport despite pre-flight requests. A letter of regret sent to her said that the company had instituted an enquiry to determine the sequence of events last Saturday.
Ashwani Lohani, chairman and managing director, Air India stated in the letter that he had ordered an enquiry "to identify the cause and then take necessary steps to ensure that such instances could be avoided in future". Expressing regret at the inconvenience caused to the wheel-chair bound scholar, Lohani wrote, "I would also like to assure that Air lndia is fully sensitive to the needs of its passengers, especially the differently-abled passengers by taking necessary steps for their convenience."
Ghai, however, was not placated and termed it an effort to divert from the issue of discrimination. Citing the letter, she pointed out that it seemed to say it was her mistake for not having entered the request for a wheelchair on her ticket. "Even if the person who booked the ticket made the mistake, I presented myself on a wheelchair and it was evident that I could not do without one. They packed my motorised wheelchair and arranged one at Dehradun airport. Couldn't a similar thing have been done in Delhi?" Ghai asked.
02/02/16 Manash Pratim Gohain/Times of India
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