The incident begs the question of why Indigo denied boarding to a specially abled child on a Hyderabad-bound flight at Ranchi airport on Saturday. The incident was videotaped by a passenger named Manisha Gupta who was waiting to board another flight at the airport.
“This child is…uncontrollable.” ‘He’s in a panic,’ the Indigo manager kept shouting and telling everyone. But all we could see was a young adolescent sitting quietly on a wheelchair, terrified by how he was being identified as a threat to the normal world.
‘The only person in panic is you,’ a female passenger retorted,” Gupta wrote. The Indigo staff announced that the child would not be allowed to take the flight. That he was a risk to other passengers. That he would have to become ‘normal’, before he could be travel-worthy. And the staff then went on to state something on lines of ‘behaviours such as this, and that of drunk passengers, deems them unfit to travel,’ she further wrote in the Facebook post.
The video showed several passengers at the airport arguing with the Indigo ground employee and requesting to speak with a senior supervisor. The video also showed the child in a wheelchair. Gupta wrote in the post that there was a delegation of doctors on board to provide ‘full support’ to the child and his parents.
An Indigo spokesperson said in a statement, “In the interest of passenger safety, 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 crew waited until the last minute to calm down, but to no avail.” The airline accommodated the family by providing them with a hotel stay, and the family flew the next morning to their destination. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused the passengers. “Indigo takes pride in being an inclusive organisation, whether for employees or customers, and over 75,000 specially-abled passengers fly with Indigo every month,” said a spokesperson.
Vinod Sharma, director of Ranchi’s Birsa Munda airport, stated that the issue was being investigated. After Indigo denied boarding to a disabled child, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said he was “investigating the matter.” “Such behaviour is not tolerated.” This should never happen to a human being! “I’m investigating the matter myself, and appropriate action will be taken (sic),” the aviation minister tweeted on Monday morning, sharing a journalist’s post about the incident.