Monday, October 21, 2019

Disability Activist Asked to ‘Take Off Pants’ at Kolkata Airport

A group of disability activists travelling to New Delhi from Kolkata have accused officials of the Kolkata airport and airline GoAir of humiliating behaviour on Sunday, 20 October.

In what was an hour-long ordeal, activist Jeeja Ghosh, who has cerebral palsy and has travelled alone all over the world, was allegedly told by GoAir officials that she couldn’t travel unaccompanied, while she was waiting for the others to arrive at the airport.

Das, who wears callipers on her leg, is also said to have been told by CISF officials to take off her pants for an inspection after the metal detector beeped during security checking.

Das was joined by disability rights activists Sampa Dasgupta, Kuhu Das and mental health activist Ratnaboli Ray on this trip to national capital to attend a United Nation Conference on disability.

Also Read : I’m A Person With Disability — And I Too Deserve Quality Education

“We were all travelling by the 2.20 pm GoAir flight, and had arrived at the airport before 1 pm”, Ghosh told The Times Of India.
“I had requested for a wheelchair, but that took ages to arrive. When I contacted the airline, the person who answered said they were short-staffed. When I finally managed to reach the check-in counter, the staff said I could not fly unescorted and that I would have to wait till others arrived”, she further told the paper.
Das, on the other hand, expressed shock at the behaviour of the CISF officials.

“For a moment, I couldn’t believe my ears. It was absolutely shocking and utterly humiliating. I have taken so many flights but never been asked to do what the officer did on Sunday,” she said.

Responding to the incident, a CISF official told TOI that they “checked CCTV footage and sorted the matter with the woman officer who had asked Das to remove her trousers”.

“Our officer had asked the woman to show her callipers, which is standard checking procedure. There was no intent to embarrass her,” he said.
21/10/19 The Quint
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