Friday, June 22, 2007

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):

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.


At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Dream Catcher said...

A very intriguing post man!..

At 10:22 AM, Blogger akanksha said...

Hmmm..u caught so many points out dere...I am tired if hearing Dis is India...yaha aise hee chalta hai...Y dont we all work hard to make it INdia of our dreams rather dan flowing away to the west...

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Kalyan said...

You are very right in your assessment, its true everywhere it is the same situation everywhere, hope all are hearing! still it doesn't mean if others are doing, the airlines should also do. Now that it has been pointed, the airlines should be careful now.

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Apun Ka Desh said...

dream catcher, akanksha, kalyan> thx for visiting.

One thing to note here also is that - if the airline had indeed flown the passenger - and something happened to him - we would have media hounding them with reverse argument: Airline was irresponsible in flying a disabled passenger who was un-escorted - and is not able to take care of himself or have a suitable medical certificate etc. And surely enough a case of criminal negligence would be filed against the airline. So, we do need to keep things in perspective.

But, even so, completely agree - we need better sensitivity, understanding everywhere. No excuses for Buses and Railways.

This is the same story:
For Airline delay Passengers must get hefty compensation (a recent ruling). BUT Why not for Railways delays? Why not for Bus Delays? Whenever we apply laws selectively, justice is not done.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Musings on India said...

great post akd.

in a country of a billion people, it is extremely difficult to provide everything to everyone - i think this is the logic our "rulers" work on. its an entire mindset change that is required where not just the politicians, but we ourselves treat everyone equally.

politicians come from you and i. the agencies of the government that execute development plans employ people like you and me. if we ourselves dont treat everyone equally then there is no point expecting someone else to treat someone else with respect.

to filter this thought down further, if I as a person dont respect myself, i would never respect someone else. so at some level, i have come to believe that the change begins from us...we as individuals. unless we ourselves know the difference between good and bad and are willing to do something to want the good...

apologies for sounding moralistic.

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At 6:00 AM, Blogger Pijush said...

Great post as usual, the questions are really valid and unanswerable. But I can not comment on the Airline without knowing the reality.

At 4:36 AM, Anonymous Dream catcher said...

u r right on..leave the media thing they are now jst play the role of barking dogs now...
perhaps the sensitivity is what one shd seek for..otherwise the issues are left unresolved

At 5:15 AM, Blogger Ashish said...

This is interesting. I never thought of it this way.
By the way, I have setup a site called
where people can contribute their articles on politics and governance issues.
It is fairly new, but the idea is to make it as a place which will gain traction as a place to put pressure for better governance.
To join, please go to

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