Sunday, March 06, 2022

Chennai Rights Activist Slams Airline For ₹ 2,500 Wheelchair Service

Chennai: Disability rights activist Rajiv Rajan was stunned when US-Bangla Airlines charged him ₹ 2,500 for the wheelchair service at Chennai airport on Sunday.

Mr Rajan, who was dismayed by the treatment meted out to him by the air carrier, had sought wheelchair assistance at Chennai airport to board the flight to Dhaka.

After he protested, the airlines agreed to refund the money, but allowed him to board the flight only after he signed an indemnity.

Mr Rajan told NDTV "This is like charging for my legs. This is illegal and violates the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disability". "It's not only about money. It's about how you treat a person with disabilities," he added.

Calling it a blatant violation of basic human rights, he is now planning to take up the matter with the relevant authorities.

His wife Meenakshi Rajan, who is also a rights activist, has urged the Civil Aviation Ministry to look into the matter.

"We cannot start all over again. This issue - Airlines charging additional for ground services and taking indemnity (we thought got sorted in 2007). This shall not be the case in 2022 with RPDA 2016 and UNCRPD," she tweeted.

On being asked about the incident, an official at the US Bangla Airlines' Chennai office told NDTV that Mr Rajan was charged ₹ 2,500 to pay a local airline for its ground support.

"We are an international airline and the charge is nothing but a collection of what we pay a local airline for ground support. This is not a revenue stream for us. For wheelchair services we pay 35 USD actually," the official said.

06/03/22 J Sam Daniel/NDTV

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