BENGALURU: A female security guard at the Kempegowda International Airport allegedly screamed in fright on seeing differently-abled social activist Jeeja Ghosh, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Ghosh was flying to Kolkata from the city on Tuesday evening.
“At 5:10 pm, I was scheduled to fly from Bengaluru to Kolkata. I reached the airport around 4.45 pm. I checked in with SpiceJet airlines and was provided wheelchair assistance. The porter from the airlines escorted me to the security check area. I entered the cubicle for security check and as a habit tried to get up from the wheelchair,” Ghosh said.
“Seeing my involuntary gait and my slurred speech, the lady security personnel became hysterical as if she had been attacked by an alien creature. She ran out of the cubicle screaming fanatically,” she added.
A BIAL spokesperson said that airport staff is adequately sensitised to differently-abled passengers and that workshops are held for their training. “The security is handled by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Our staff takes care of passengers with special needs very seriously,” the official said.
“I earnestly wish to bring this incident to the notice of the airport authorities and urge them to take stringent measures to ensure that no passengers have to face such an embarrassing and unpleasant situation while traveling. On my part, after the initial embarrassment, I have tried to take this incident lightly.
However, there are numerous other persons with disabilities who would probably get demoralised and depressed if they encounter such an awkward situation,” Ghosh said.
The DGCA–CAR Rules mandates training of airport and airlines personnel regarding the way they are expected to interact passengers with disabilities. In 2016, the Supreme Court had directed SpiceJet to pay `10 lakh in damages to Jeeja Ghosh when she was forcibly deboarded from the plane on the insistence of the captain.