‘Felt humiliated’: Two divyang women claim mistreatment by airline, security staff at Kolkata Airport
Disabled women faced non-cooperation and humiliation at Kolkata Airport by private airlines staff. They were leaving for Delhi for a seminar on disability. SAWM India member Moupia Nandy reports the incident.
Two specially-abled women, who are also disability-rights activists, were allegedly humiliated at Kolkata Airport while travelling to Delhi on Sunday.
Ironically, Jeeja Ghosh Nag and Kuhu Das were travelling to the national capital to attend the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to discuss the rights of disabled women.
Jeeja, born with cerebral palsy, was denied entry without an escort by GoAir staff. She alleged that GoAir staff behaved in the most insensitive manner when she said she travels across the globe alone and refused to be escorted by a co-passenger as demanded by the airline.
Her co-passengers also stepped in and protested against this. After a heated altercation and firm refusal from Jeeja, the staff allowed her to board the flight.
Jeeja told Zee media that she was shocked by the treatment meted out to her and finds it humiliating.
Incidentally, SpiceJet was directed by a court to pay Rs 10 lakh compensation to Jeeja for not allowing her to board a flight a few years back.
Another woman travelling with her asked to take off her jeans by the security staff. Kuhu Das alleged that she was asked by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) staff to take off her jeans as she wears calliper on her leg.
Other fliers also protested and higher officials finally stepped in. Kuhu alleged that she was told by the CISF personnel, a woman, that she would have to take off her pants as she had never seen such callipers.
Speaking to told Zee Media, Ms Das wondered how the CISF can be so insensitive when there are specific norms.
“Were they not been trained and sensitized?” she asked. She added that as the experience they had shows how people with disability suffer despite so much fight for rights.
They also claimed that no official apology has been received so far.