On Monday, disability rights activist, Virali Modi, faced an unpleasant situation at the Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi. Despite her walking disability, a CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) officer insisted that she stood up for the security check procedure. She even told the CISF personnel that for the past 13 years, she has been wheelchair-bound due to her spinal injury. Unfortunately, they did not budge.
Virali repeatedly emphasised that she was unable to walk or stand to the CISF personnel, unfortunately, she told her that she would have to. For the security check, Virali was expected to leave her wheelchair behind and make her way to the cubical for her security check. Here's what she said, "I told them repeatedly that I had been paralysed for 13 years and there was no way I could walk. I told her that if she could make me stand up, then she could go for it."
Virali later overhead the conversation between the CISF officer and her colleague. Apparently, the CISF officer was talking ill of her and labelled her as "melodramatic". On hearing this, Virali was left teary-eyed, and what followed after was a heated exchanged of words between Virali and the CISF personnel. When she confronted the CISF personnel, the lady threw a fit and starting shouting at Virali. Here's the lowdown...
Virali is no stranger to travelling. In fact, she even showed her passport to the CISF personnel and said she's a US citizen. Even her porter told them that her own wheelchair had been checked-in, unfortunately, all of this information fell on deaf ears.
This commotion later alerted a senior CISF woman and she came to Virali's rescue. She did a manual check on her and allowed her to board her flight from Delhi to Mumbai.
After reaching Mumbai, Virali wrote an email to the CIFS documenting the situation and the bitter experience she had with the CISF personnel. In her complaint, she mentioned, “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 behaviour 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.”
This isn't the first time Virali was subjected to harassment at an Indian airport. Before the Delhi incident, Virali experienced a similar incident at the Mumbai airport. Despite her disability, a CISF officer in Mumbai insisted that she stood up. When she told them that she was unable to, a woman trooper pulled her leg so hard that she later had to be hospitalised.
Here's hoping that her email reaches the right ears and justice gets served at the earliest. We're rooting for you, Virali!
Featured Image: Wikipedia
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