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CISF personnel asks disability rights activist Virali Modi to get up from wheel chair, walk at Delhi airport

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CISF personnel asks disability rights activist Virali Modi to get up from wheel chair, walk at Delhi airport

Disability rights activist Virali Modi was asked to get up from her wheelchair and walk by the CISF official at the Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi. Virali Modi had faced a somewhat similar situation last year at the Mumbai airport.

Virali, who led the campaign to make railway stations disabled-friendly, alleged that she was forced to stand up by a CISF personnel, despite telling her that she can't.

On Monday at Delhi airport, she told the CISF personnel that she has a spinal injury and has been wheelchair-bound for the last 13 years.

Virali said that she could not note down the names of the CISF personnel but was left teary-eyed when she overheard the CISF women personnel speak to a colleague.

"I could hear them speak and the woman said, 'drama kar rahi hai' (she is doing drama)" said Virali.

After the CISF personnel came out with her colleague, Virali had a heated exchange of words with them. It was after third personnel came out that she was frisked and could move out of the security check-in towards her flight.

"I showed them my passport to clarify that I have travelled to many places and that I am a US citizen. Even the porter with me told them that my own wheelchair had been checked-in. But they just refused to listen and behave in a rude manner."

After reaching Mumbai, Virali wrote a long mail to the CISF with details of what had happened. By the afternoon when India Today TV was at her residence, Virali got a call from a senior CISF personnel who asked her about the incident at the airport.

After hearing out Virali, the CISF personnel told her that there had been an incident of another person pretending to be wheelchair-bound. The senior CISF officer said that it was because of that the CISF personnel tend to generally be on their guard with wheelchair-bound travellers.

CISF personnel had been given training last year in soft skill, that is on how to speak and behave with passengers at the airport.

The CISF personnel speaking to Modi apologised to her over the phone and said that an enquiry has been initiated to find out what had happened.

According to sources in CISF Mumbai, Virali Modi had arrived for the security check-in a wheelchair. The CISF staff said that they need to check the wheelchair and she was offered assistance by the women staff.

Virali, however, refused to get up with assistance. She turned hostile and used inappropriate language. The CISF staff remained firm and refused clearance without examining the wheelchair.

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