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‘Specially-abled child is barred by Indigo’; Scindia says it’s unjust to subject humans to this

A day after it was revealed that IndiGo denied a specially-abled boy from boarding an aircraft at Ranchi airport because he was in ‘a state of terror,’ Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated on Monday that no human being should have to go through this and that he is examining the situation. Because the youngster was barred from boarding the airline’s Ranchi-Hyderabad aircraft on Saturday, his parents, who were accompanying him, also opted not to fly.

The Saturday event was brought to light after other passengers commented about it on social media on Sunday. Scindia remarked on Twitter on Monday, in response to one such social media post about this event, ‘Such behaviour is not tolerated in any way. This should never happen to a human being! I am conducting my own investigation into the incident, following which appropriate action will be taken.’

On Sunday, DGCA chairman Arun Kumar told PTI that the regulator has requested a report on the incident from IndiGo. He stated that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the incident and would take suitable measures. This incident was posted on LinkedIn by a passenger called Manisha Gupta. She stated that an adolescent with special needs was in tremendous agony on Saturday at the Ranchi airport.

‘The weariness of the journey to the airport, followed by the stress of security, has left him feeling hungry, thirsty, anxious, and confused. His parents clearly knew how to handle his meltdown: patience, cajoling, sternness, and lots of hugs’, she said. She added that ‘at the time the boarding began, the boy had been fed and given his medications. Except for some significant demonstrations of ordinary adolescent aggression, he appeared ready’.

‘Then we saw the full show of raw authority and force’. The IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd) crew stated that the boy would not be permitted to board the aircraft because he posed a risk to other passengers. The Indigo management further stated that ‘behaviours such as these, including that of inebriated passengers, make them unable to travel.’ She added that the other passengers were very opposed to him and asked that the youngster and his parents board the aeroplane as soon as possible. Several people pushed the Indigo staff to match his judgement with matching wording in the rule book.

‘They displayed news stories and Twitter posts on supreme court rulings that said that no airline may discriminate against disabled people. A medical delegation was also on the same aircraft. They pledged to provide full assistance to the youngster and his parents if a medical emergency occurred in the air’, she said. However, she claims that IndiGo officials did not reconsider their decision to keep the toddler from flying.

When asked about the incident on Sunday, IndiGo stated, ‘In the interest of passenger safety, a specially-abled youngster could not board the aircraft with his family on May 7, since he was in a state of terror. The ground crew waited until the last minute for him to calm down, but to no effect’, according to the report. According to the airline, the family was made comfortable by providing them with a hotel overnight, and they travelled the next morning to their destination.

‘We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused the passengers. IndiGo takes pride in being an inclusive organisation, whether for its staff or consumers, and over 75,000 differently-abled passengers fly with IndiGo each month ‘, it stated. According to DGCA data, IndiGo, India’s largest airline, transported 58.61 lakh passengers within the nation in March, accounting for 54.8 per cent of the domestic market.

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