This time, Tony Kurian, a 22 year old Visually Impaired student of TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai faced discrimination from an airline which is known for its consumer friendly policies especially the persons with disabilities.
Indigo is the only low-cost carrier that provides manual ramp to board the flight hence is popular among the persons with disabilities and the elderly. Therefore it is little surprising that they denied ticket to a visually impaired student on the pretext that he can not fly unless accompanied by an escort or a guide dog! Despite an apology, the student has been unable to book his tickets.
It all boils down to one single issue, that is- the DGCA's CAR is not being implemented in its right earnest. The training issues are not being addressed by the airliners. What our colleague Joe Chopra in her article in The Hindu points out is equally true that due to our policies of exclusion in education - from where the right integration and acceptance begins- we are at this stage that people are required to be trained and sensitized on disability issues. Ms. Joe stresses that typical children who grow up in inclusive classrooms learn — at the very least — that disability is nothing to be afraid of. They learn that people may look different, yet can still be their friends. That a person who can't speak can still communicate. That you can't judge a book by its cover and that everyone has both strengths and weaknesses.
Here is the link to the media coverage of Indigo's denial to the visually impaired flyer. http://www.dnasyndication.com/dna/article/DNMUM237685
This incidenct above further prove the fact that only 1 in 30 gets reported while others keep fighting/suffering in silence. We must create systems to check this menace and it can happen when we speak up for our rights and demand accountability from the service providers.
Subhash Chandra Vashishth
Advocate Disability Rights