Govt May Take Action Against Indigo For Not Allowing A Child With Special Needs To Board Flight; Investigation Is On
The child rights body NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) has taken note of an incident, when low cost airline IndiGo refused to allow a child with special needs to board a plane in Ranchi with his family on Monday.
The rights body chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said, “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 popular airlie is facing a massive backlash and also got a warning from the Union Aviation Minister, offering to settle the row by buying him an electric wheelchair.
How Did This Happen?
While talking about the incident, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said, “Throughout the check-in and boarding process our intent of course was to carry the family, however, at the boarding area the teenager was visibly in panic. While providing courteous and compassionate service to our customers is of paramount importance to us, the airport staff, in line with the safety guidelines, were forced to make a difficult decision as to whether this commotion would carry forward aboard the aircraft,” in a statement from.
Further adding, “Having reviewed all aspects of this incident, we as an organization are of the view that we made the best possible decision under difficult circumstances,”.
The statement noted, “We offer our sincere regrets to the affected family for the unfortunate experience and as a small token of our appreciation of their lifelong dedication would like to offer to purchase an electric wheelchair for their son,”.
Warning For IndiGo
Earlier in the day amid a spiraling backlash over the incident, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had warned IndiGo.
Apart from this the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also asked IndiGo for a report.
All this action came after the harrowing ordeal of the family was widely shared on social media, triggering massive outrage.
In its defense, IndiGo said, the child posed a threat to other passengers’ safety, in an earlier statement.
Further stressing that it takes pride in being “inclusive” and refuted suggestions of discriminatory behaviour.
Adding, “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. The ground staff waited for him to calm down till the last minute, but to no avail,”.
Is It Discrimination Against Passengers With Disabilities?
In another point of view from a fellow passenger, Manisha Gupta, who witnessed the scene and wrote about the incident in an elaborate Facebook post.
According to Ms Gupta, the IndiGo manager, kept shouting and telling everyone that the “child is uncontrollable”.
Ms Gupta specifically quoted “The only person who is in panic is you,” in a retort to the airline manager.
The child’s family was provided a hotel stay, and they flew the next morning to their destination, according to the airline.
In her post, Ms Gupta said, a group of doctors, traveling on the same flight, offered to provide full support to the child and his parents if any health episode were to occur mid-air.
She further added that other passengers rallied around the family.
As they held up their mobile phones, with news articles, Twitter posts on Supreme Court judgments on how no airline could discriminate against passengers with disabilities, said Ms Gupta.
Adding, “In those 45 minutes of argument, temper, rage and contestation, the three (the family) had not once lost their dignity or raised their voice or spoken one irrational word,”.