A Jalandhar-based disability activist has accused Air India of asking for charges for carrying a wheelchair on board a flight from Mumbai to Delhi.
Vivek Joshi (38), who was presented the President’s Award in 2016, was asked by the staff at the airport to pay Rs 1,180 for the wheelchair, which would take him inside the airport, and an additional Rs 400-500 as mandatory packaging charges for taking his wheelchair on board. The facility is free at all airports, he added.
Vivek, who was accompanied by his father Subhash Joshi (71), refused to pay the charges. The duo was allegedly heckled at the airport for nearly two hours before they boarded the flight. Vivek, who has cerebral palsy, runs an NGO, Madhav Sewa Society, for the disabled here. Subhash and Vivek had gone to Mumbai to receive the latter’s Champion Award.
He said, “At the airport, an attendant sought charges for carrying Vivek’s wheelchair. He didn’t relent to my protests that at all airports this is free. I refused to pay the charges and carried Vivek’s wheelchair.” Subhash alleged that their requests to clear Vivek’s formalities separately at the airport queue were also denied since “there was no provision” for separate queue for disabled.