`Airlines treat disabled people as vegetables sack`

Last Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 13:38

New Delhi: After Spice Jet, Jet Airways has been accused of showing apathetic behaviour towards a disabled woman who was not only denied an aisle wheelchair to de-board the plane but also threatened to be bodily lifted by loaders out of the aircraft.

The incident happened with Anjalee Agarwal, who is suffering from Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy - a progressive neurological condition in which a person is unable to stand or move and has to be confined to a wheelchair, on a Jet Connect flight (9W 2211) from Delhi to Raipur on February 20.

The incident came a day after a disabled woman Jeeja Ghosh was offloaded from a Spice Jet flight.

"My ordeal started from Delhi airport. When I was asked by the boarding pass issuing staff, if `I am fit to fly`? When I asked `what do you mean`, he stared at me and asked me to sign an indemnity bond.

"When I refused, he said `it`s our rule and you can`t fly without signing this`. I had to sign it, as I could not afford to miss the flight," alleged Agarwal, who is a frequent flyer and also executive director of an NGO that works on creating accessibility awareness.
In a statement, Jet Airways said the guest travelling by 9W 2211 reported at the check-in counter at Delhi with a fractured leg which had a plaster on and explained it was due to a recent surgery.

"As per standard procedure, the check-in staff got the guest to sign an indemnity bond. Also she was informed there were no ambulifts at Raipur," the statement said.

"The guest boarded from Delhi with the help of a wheel chair," a Jet Airways spokesperson said.
When she reached Raipur airport, Agarwal alleged that inspite of airlines crew assurance of getting an aisle wheelchair on board, flight supervisor Niranjan Sen pressurised her to be bodily lifted by four male loaders with the "excuse that while de-boarding at Raipur they do not have aisle chairs in smaller cities."

"Hence I was ordered to be bodily lifted till the gate of the aircraft and then transferred to the big wheelchair and then carried down the steps," Agarwal, who has filed a complaint with the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability, the Director General of Civil Aviation and Ministry of Civil Aviation, said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 24, 2012 - 13:38

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