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After IndiGo refuses to board child with disability, rights body takes note

Published on May 09, 2022 02:03 PM IST

IndiGo incident: The incident at the Ranchi airport caused huge uproar on social media. 

The IndiGo has said it's sensitive to needs of those with special needs. (HT FIile Photo)

Amid anger over IndiGo refusing to allow a child with special needs to board a plane in Ranchi with his family, child rights body NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) has taken note of the incident. "An incident of misbehavior with a specially-abled child by staff of IndiGo at Ranchi airport has come out. Cognizance is being taken for appropriate action,” the rights body chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said on Monday.

In a tweet earlier, aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said he would himself probe the case. “There is zero tolerance towards such behaviour. No human being should have to go through this! Investigating the matter by myself, post which appropriate action will be taken (sic),” Scindia tweeted.

Aviation regulator DGCA on Sunday had also ordered an investigation over the incident amid huge uproar.

The child was not allowed to board the flight from Ranchi as he was “in a state of panic”, Indigo said. “In view of the safety of passengers, a specially-abled child could not board the flight with his family on May 7, as he was in a state of panic,” it said.

Stressing that the ground staff tried to calm him, it added: "We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers. IndiGo prides itself on being an inclusive organisation, be it for employees or its customers; and over 75,000 specially-abled passengers fly with IndiGo every month”.

A post linked to the incident - described as “shameful” - was widely shared on social media. “Yesterday, at the Ranchi airport, an adolescent with special needs, was in great distress. He had had a very uncomfortable car ride to the airport. By the time he had gone through security check and reached the gate (almost an hour ahead of boarding), he seemed to be in the throes of hunger, thirst, anxiety and confusion," Manisha Gupta of India Start Up consultancy wrote on Facebook.

“His parents obviously knew how to handle his meltdown - with patience, some cajoling, some stern-ness, many hugs etc. And the other passengers were stopping by to ask if they needed any help or support. This caught the attention of the #indigoairlines staff, who walked upto the trio, and warned them that he would not let them board, if the child did not quieten down and become 'normal'. By the time the boarding began, the child had been fed. He had had many sips of juice and water. His parents had successfully given him his medicine and he seemed ready...except for some big displays of general teenage assertiveness. Then we witnessed the full display of brute authority and power,” it said, further describing the incident.

(With inputs from PTI) 


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