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Airline says sorry to disabled activist

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, June 21 (UNI) Jetlite, a division of Jet Airways that was formerly Air Sahara, today apologised to cerebral palsy patient Rajiv Rajan for refusing to let him board a Delhi-bound flight in Chennai on Monday.

The airline also said it will sensitise its staff to the special needs of people with disability.

''We regret the inconvenience caused to Rajiv Rajan. We will train our staff to be sensitive towards people with special needs.

We apologise for the inconvenience,'' it said in its public apology.

Rajan was made to wait three hours at the Chennai airport and was not allowed to board the flight because airline officials considered him unfit for travel. Airline officials told him that he needed a medical clearance or an escort.

Rajan was flying to Delhi to attend a seminar on disability as an invitee of the government. Disabled rights activists protested at Delhi and Chennai airports against the way he was treated.

Jetlite is the new name for Air Sahara, which was recently bought by Jet Airways.

There was a public uproar and condemnation against the incident after a private television channel telecast a story on the incident.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the airline to explain why it barred Ranjan. ''We have seen media reports about this. Based on these reports, we have asked the airline about the circumstances under which the passenger was offloaded and what it proposes to do about this,'' a spokesperson of the DGCA said.

Rajan, who heads an NGO for the disabled, was to attend a meeting of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities to discuss a training programme to be launched in the country.


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