Baby Strollers in All Airports- Safe travel for Mother with Baby
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Recently I was traveling to Kolkata and after landing, went to pick up my luggage. Next to me was a young mother traveling with her baby. While waiting for her luggage to arrive, she made the baby sit in the upper portion of the luggage trolley. Since she was alone with the baby, she had no other option. While the mother went to pick up her luggage, the baby almost fell off the trolley. I jumped to save her from falling. This was quite an ordeal for the mother, trying to pick up the luggage from the belt and ensuring that the baby is safe. She was so tense all the while. With tears in her eyes, she said to me “there is no stroller service in airports, like wheelchairs for the aged, so I am forced to do this while traveling alone. Why can’t the airports/airlines provide stroller service for mothers with young children? This is not an isolated case. Neither is this the case in one airport. Looks like, most airports in India have not thought of this situation at all and hence don’t provide the facility,
Domestic air passenger traffic rose to 11.5 million in March 2018 -- up by 28.03 percent -- from 9.045 million reported during March 2017. Data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) revealed that passenger traffic during the January-March 2018 period grew by 23.87 percent. “Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-March 2018 were 33.79 million as against 27.279 million during the corresponding period of the previous year (2017), thereby registering a growth of 23.87 percent," the DGCA said in its monthly domestic traffic report. This data is really impressive.
This shows that almost 2% population of India i.e. 24 million people take a flight every day. This also includes women flying alone with a baby or a toddler. Though there is no data available on this, with the high rate of mobility in our lives these days, it would be quite safe to assume that the number is quite big and is increasing day by day.
While doing research on this topic, I came to know that only in some big airports which run under the PPP model, the strollers are provided by the Airport Management . And even there, the number provided is quite limited. And if they want to carry their own strollers, they have to check them in, since rules do not allow any luggage wider than 115 cm to be taken inside the aircraft. So it makes no sense to carry your own stroller.
This is not only an issue of convenience for the parents, but also a matter of child safety and protection. It is the responsibility of Civil Aviation Ministry to provide the strollers.
Through this petition, I am demanding that the Ministry of Civil Aviation fulfill that responsibility and make strollers available whenever requested.
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