I was so happy when I thought of this idea.

Because I had been so sad, so disheartened when I heard of Jeeja Ghosh – a woman with Cerebral Palsy, being “off-loaded” like a piece of luggage, like a sack of beans, from a Spice Air flight from Kolkata to Goa.

The pilot had insisted she be forcibly disembarked because he was afraid that his flight’s safety was in jeopardy.

It is so easy to lash out in anger, to demand that the airline be fined, that the pilot be sacked. Easy. But ineffective.

Ineffective and also wrong. The pilot can’t be blamed. He is a limited man with a limited education. He’s never met anyone like Jeeja because we have made sure that he didn’t.

Our schools in India are exclusive. If you have a disability – of any kind – forget about being a student in one of them. You simply don’t belong. There is no place for you.

So millions of children grow up not knowing about kids like Jeeja or Moy Moy or Sakshi. They simply have no idea that they even exist. So are we really surprised when they acquire positions of power – like becoming a pilot on Spice Air – and behave the way they have been trained to behave? We have only ourselves to blame.

I don’t blame Utprabh Tiwari. I blame our system. So I wrote this article in The Hindu about why inclusive education is the need of the hour. Please read it. Here’s the link.


Showing 4 comments
  • Shea

    Dead link, Jo. Tried clicking it a few times to no avail. Can I read the article anywhere else? Btw, just the day the story about the visually impaired guy being refused a ticket on Indigo broke, I happened to fly that airline and was thinking how cool it was that they had ramps instead of stairs going up to the plane. So much for inclusive.

  • Jo McGowan Chopra

    Hmmm. . . it works for me! But here it is again: http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article2931621.ece

    Writing to you right now!

  • Sidd

    The link works for me too 😉

  • Varsha Raina

    You are absolutely right.Going to airport with Sunny(my brother) is always a tedious process,waiting for wheel chair,authorities always making us feel they are kind of helpless.We have stopped long ago travelling by trains ’cause he can’t go up by stairs n we have no faclities on our railway stations for disabled people.
    How tedious is it for that person n it’s family to make him/her move?

    Why are we so disabled unfriendly?

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