Para-cyclist Aditya Mehta has been humiliated. Again. The two-time silver medallist at the 2013 Asian Paralympics was en route to Hyderabad from Bangalore on October 11. As he proceeded for security check at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore, he was “forced” to remove his prosthetic leg. This was not the first time that he was made to undergo this ordeal. But we for sure hope that it would be the last time.
Mehta, who is suffering from an injury on his operated leg, was asked to remove his prosthesis limb. When he objected stating that it is a painful process and he is injured, the inconsiderate (Central Industrial Security Force) CISF officials said, “It is your problem.” Mehta was left bleeding after the process of removing and wearing back his prosthesis limb. In a Facebook post, Mehta mentioned that some of the officials were understanding and cooperated with him. But at the Bangalore airport, an official, Thakur Das “humiliated” and “stripped” him for the second time.
On August 26th, while he was travelling to Chandigarh from Bangalore, he was stopped by the same official.
“Do you call this security check? Is this the kind of treatment you give to differently challenged people? These officers are meant to protect our lives not show us reasons to end our lives. A person like me who always tries to look at the brighter side of everything, is today put down terribly! Mr THAKUR, SC MEENA, PUPENDER PRATAP SINGH were those impudent CISF Central Industrial Security Force officers. The assistant commandant who was the in charge at that time of security also behaved very disrespectfully,” he said on his Facebook post.
Another instance when he was embarrassed was four days later on August 30th when he was travelling to Hyderabad from Delhi. “Despite all the campaigning since four days, I was again asked to remove my prosthetic leg during security check at the Delhi Airport. A rude Sub-Inspector didn’t have the courtesy to talk politely. He was adamant that he is not going to let me go until I take off my prosthetic limb for security check. However, Assistant Commandant Rajeev, who was present at the site was kind enough to tell that they were just following the guidelines given by Bureau of Civil Aviation. He also mentioned that BCAS doesn’t have enough funds to have body scanner which could be a sensitised way of checking,” shared Mehta in another post.
So is this how we treat our national heroes? While there’s no end on investing money on cricket and Bollywood projects, funds for body scanners for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) is too much to ask!
“Fall in line and change the system,” is what Mehta has asked the officials and we are with him in his mission.