Situation of the Disabled in India
So, an Airline refused to fly a wheel-chair bound Cerebral Palsy Patient. While the exact circumstances of this are not clear. What probably happened is (based on news reports again):
- The patient was not escorted or accompanied by anyone.
- The patient could not coherently answer the queries by Airline Staff.
- The Airlines could not find either a medical certificate of fit-to-fly or the person did not seem fit to fly to them.
- For the above reasons the passenger was not allowed to fly.
Next, the media ran the story as follows (with questions):
- How can a Airline refuse to fly a Disabled Passenger?
- What punishment should be meted out to the Airline (a direct question actually on Live Television from NDTV to a DGCA executive).
- Airlines do not care for disabled.
Perhaps valid questions. BUT, What is this about singling out Airlines? Do we have the answers to the following question?
- What facilities exist in Railways for Disabled People? Infact close to NONE.
- Are our City Taxi's, Auto's, other forms of Public Transport equipped to handle the disabled? Forget that, do we even have laws around them.
- Can a disabled person even hope to get into a Film Theatre and watch a movie with ease?
- See the conditions of Public Hospitals across the country - and see what they are equipped with to deal with the disabled? These are the institutions where MOST disabled people in India will go to seek help.
- Can someone show us even a SINGLE passenger bus anywhere in INDIA, which is equipped to lift disabled people into the Bus (easily seen in Buses plying in America)?
- The list can go on... this is just to give an idea.. and throw up the question:
Why is Media, and bleeding heart NGOs - not seen raising the above questions? Whats special about Airlines? Far far more disabled people will travel by trains and buses than airlines. There are 70 Million Disabled in India (a number larger than population of most countries of the world). Lets keep things in right perspective.