A Disability rights activist – Virali Modi was allegedly asked to get up from her wheelchair for security check despite her declaring that she can’t stand due to a spinal injury. The incident took place at the Indira Gandhi Airport when she was travelling to Mumbai on September 9.
The 28-year-old activist who was at the forefront of the campaign to make railway stations disabled-friendly alleged that a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel asked her to stop the drama. Virali in a complaint to the CISF wrote, “She (the CISF personnel) went to call her senior and started saying that I was acting and doing drama.”
Explaining her plight in the mail she wrote that she is a wheelchair user for the past 13 years. She said she carried her personal wheelchair, which she had submitted to the check-in counter as cargo. A porter was appointed to help her reach her seat. “Upon reaching the security checking, I had the worst experience with one of your female CISF (officer),” she wrote on Twitter.
“YOU HAVE TO STAND UP FOR SECURITY CHECKING! STOP DOING DRAMA!,” – The CISF at Delhi airport said this to me. @jayantsinha @CISFHQrs @DelhiAirport @debolin_sen @BookLuster @guptasonali PLEASE RT – THIS TREATMENT TOWARDS THE DISABLED IS RIDICULOUS pic.twitter.com/WGYFULblUm
— Virali Modi (@Virali01) September 9, 2019
Virali said she even suggested the officer do a “manual pat-down” as she couldn’t stand.
Virali also offered to show her passport to prove that she travels internationally despite being a wheelchair user. “She supposedly went to call her senior and started saying that I was acting and doing dram,” Virali alleged.
In the complaint letter, she said that she could not get the name of the CISF staff. Expressing concern at the personnel’s behaviour, Virali wrote, “Is this how the CISF is trained to handle people with disabilities? If so then it’s a shame on our government.”
Later, a senior staff did a manual check and let her go.
She later revealed on Facebook that the head of CISF contacted her and regretted the incident. He extended an invitation to meet him and also asked her to give a soft-skill lesson to the CISF personnel.
In 2018, she had alleged that a CISF personnel had forcefully lifted her from her wheelchair at Mumbai Airport. However, the allegation was rejected by the central force.