One of the biggest hindrances faced by the differently-abled people in India is the lack of suitable infrastructure. Some time back Sudha Chandran, one of the most inspiring disability icons of the country posted an Instagram video of how every time at the airport, she is made to remove her artificial leg for security check purposes. She had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make provisions so that senior disabled persons like herself do not have to face such problems.
And now positive news in this aspect comes that the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will be having a dedicated helpline and are also developing an app that will contribute to seamless security checks for persons with disabilities who are departing on flights.
The director-general of CISF MA Ganapathy organized a meet with 10 NGOs who represent the divyang community, of which 10 were present in person and 150 others had joined on the virtual platform. There were also top officials from the Aviation Ministry, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, and Chief Airport Security Officers (CASO) of 64 airports that have the force presence in a physical – virtual mode. It was decided in the meeting that a committee of stakeholders will be formed for all airports that come under the CISF. It will cover and examine issues faced by persons with disabilities and the personnel stationed will be provided special training in sensitization. The implementation of the policy will be reviewed every six months and corrections will be made.
The aim of the conference was to discuss and develop standardization of processes in dealing with persons with disabilities across all the airports to minimize the problems faced by them during security checks at airports before boarding. Also on the agenda were the security compulsions for foolproof checks, in line with the BCA security guidelines like – frisking of differently-abled passengers and checking their equipment like wheelchairs, etc. A similar incentive was undertaken by the paramilitary in December 2020 at Hyderabad Airport where some personnel were posted to identify and assist differently-abled people to a separate corridor area that had been dedicated and arranged for their security check. This was called the ‘Swarnim Seva.’
DG of National Security Guards, Ganapathy said, “Our aim is to ensure sensitive and hassle-free without compromising on security requirements. The effort will be to harmonize the views of the participants with the security protocols and standardize its implementation,”