We protest against the human rights violation by BCAS - Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, India, for outlining the most inhumane and insensitive screening procedures that persons with disabilities are forced to go through at the cost of their physical safety and emotional trauma, at the Indian airports.
The dictate of BCAS to the Indian Airports to regard the disabled and sick passengers carrying prosthesis such as artificial legs, a bigger security risk, to ask them to strip and remove prosthesis and, to make the wheel chair users stand up for thorough checking & not use their wheel chairs - as they all may be carriers of explosives and weapons - is a violation of human rights of life, liberty, fairness, respect, equality and dignity.
The entire screening procedure for the persons with disabilities and medical conditions, and the insensitivity of the rustic security staff (CISF) at the Indian airports towards them need a makeover. We are living in a human world. These procedures and the rustic security staff got to have a human face. They need to be sensitized and humanized.
BCAS, enforce the guidelines on the training of CISF staff on the dignified screening of PwDs, that I and my team had outlined in our manual and Power Point Presentation. The manual abides by the language of CRPD and it was composed under the guidance of leading disability experts of India. I along with Javed Abidi, had personally handed over the manual to Mr. Ajay Kumar and Mr. O.P. Singh, senior CISF officers, in June, 2014. The manual was approved by the office of CISF in New-Delhi. However BCAS has not incorporated it in its SOP. Mr. Srivastava, a senior BCAS official had given his word to me last year at a CISF workshop, at which I had presented my thoughts, that he would be open to incorporating my suggestions in the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for screening of PwDs at security check points at Indian airports. Further, CCPD, The office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, in response to my complaint, had issued an order to BCAS to amend its SOP. Why have the coward officials of BCAS not taken any action yet? Why do they continue to escalate their atrocities towards PwDs rather than enforcing our manual which abides by the international security norms?
The international norms for checking prosthetic limbs do not require amputees to strip & to remove their prosthesis; nor do they require wheel-chair users to stand up & to not use their own wheel chairs. Shouldn't that be equally easy to implement in India as well? We're not asking that the national security & the security of travelers be compromised. We are only asking that BCAS enforce our manual which abides by the international norms/world class facilities that provide the highest level of security & customer service to all who pass through screening checkpoints & treats people with special needs (including those with medical conditions and limited mobility) with dignity, respect, care & courtesy that they deserve. We are asking BCAS to enforce a zero tolerance policy for any form of harassment, discrimination and infringement of the privacy, dignity, respect and human rights of the physically disabled and travelers with medical conditions.
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