Wheelchair-Bound Indian American Forced to Stand at Delhi AirportSeptember 10, 2019 04:21
(Image source from: Facebook/viralimodi1)
Wheelchair-bound Indian American woman and disability rights activist, Virali Modi, was allegedly harassed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on Monday as CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) woman constable insisted her to stand for the mandatory security check procedure.
Virali cannot walk or stand after a spinal cord injury since 2006. “I am disabled from the last 13 years. I am unable to walk and stand. I was traveling today (Monday) from IGI Airport, Terminal 3 on a SpiceJet Flight (SG8723) to Mumbai,” Virali wrote in her complaint to the CISF.
According to Virali’s complaint, she had surrendered her wheelchair to the check-in counter as cargo and had also been allotted a porter to help her to her seat. Once she reached the security check-in point a woman CISF constable started forcing her to stand up although the porter interfered and said again and again that Virali could not stand.
Despite Virali showing her passport to CISF staff which proves that she travels internationally even after being wheelchair-bound, the woman continued to accuse her of “acting and doing drama”. The CISF staff even allegedly told another woman that Virali was “doing drama and could easily stand if she wanted to”. When confronted, the CISF staff started shouting at the activist.
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According to the complaint, Viral couldn’t get the name of CISF staff as the name tag was not visible because of the way she was standing. “Finally a senior staff member came, did a manual check and let me go.”
Expressing concern at the CISF personnel’s behavior, Virali wrote in her complaint: “Is this how the CISF is trained to handle people with disabilities? If so then it’s a shame on our government. I should be treated with respect and sensitivity. This behavior is absurd and I request you to please look into this matter and take the necessary action so this doesn’t happen to anyone with a disability.”
Virali earlier too experienced a similar incident at Mumbai airport where the CISF staff forced her to stand up. When she said she couldn’t have been paralyzed and couldn’t walk or stand, one of the women troopers pulled her leg so hard that she had to be hospitalized.
By Sowmya Sangam