While it may take some more time for the Women’s Reservation Bill to become law, on another front parity has finally been achieved so far as women and their male colleagues are concerned.
All cabin crew of the national carrier Air India will now have to undergo an annual medical examination on attaining the age of 35 — a requirement that previously applied only to air hostesses.
Cabin crew will also have to undergo six-monthly weight checks during their entire career from the time they join the airline. Overweight crew, as per the new guidelines, will be grounded.
So, depending on her height and age, an air hostess could weigh from 38 to 79.5 kg while a flight steward, as per the same criteria, could weigh from 47 to 96 kg.
Pilots with the national carrier already undergo a bi-annual medical examination.
“After the weight check, a medical officer will certify whether the crew is within the prescribed limits or overweight. Overweight crew will be grounded and would be required to report for fortnightly weight checks till attaining weight within prescribed limits,” the new guidelines state.
“The Air India crew who are being brought on to the new height-weight chart system would be given a one time dispensation of an additional leeway of six months before being grounded on being found overweight. Such crew would be required to report for monthly weight checks and advised to reduce weight at 1.5 to 2 kg per month along with advice on the scientific methods of weight loss, diet control and lifestyle changes,” it said.
Cabin crew who remain overweight beyond 180 days will be evaluated by a duly appointed medical board. In cases where crew remain overweight without any medical reasons, action will be initiated for dismissal from services. However, exceptions can be made for cabin crew with over 15 years’ service, who can be redeployed in the administrative side.
The cabin crew should be clear complexioned “without any noticeable blemish, odd scars/ birth marks”, should have “even and regular teeth, clear speech, no stammering, lisping”. Those “associated with opportunistic infection [sic] (HIV positive)” would be considered unfit for selection.