Airlines Deboards Deaf & Blind Man
Zamir Dhale a Deaf & Blind activist was deboarded from the Air Asia flight after the airlines does not permit people with disabilities to travel alone.
Zamir Dhale is 44 years old. He is a disability rights activist, who is Deaf and Blind. Dhale is the founder of the Society for Empowerment of the Deaf-Blind, and almost always uses public transport without any assistance. He was at Pune Airport to catch an Air Asia flight to Delhi. From Delhi he was going to Geneva where he had to address a meeting of disability experts organised by the [Box 05 United Nations (UN). When he got into the flight, the Air Asia’s airline authorities, made him deboard the flight because they felt that he would not be able to fly alone. Zamir insisted that he can travel alone by himself. He even showed official documents as proofs. However the airport authorities did not listen to him.
Zamir then made a call to a friend who alerted various disability activists about the situation. While Zamir was stranded at the airport, Dr Satendra Singh, another disability rights activist contacted airline about the issue. He said that the airline assumed on its own that all persons who are deaf and blind are dependent and, therefore, require an escort to travel. The airlines need to change their rules. For example In 2015, the Canadian Transportation Agency, ordered Air Canada to change its policy requiring people who are both deaf and blind to travel with a companion. The Air New Zealand rules also did the same. When Dr. Singh told the airlines they said that “sincerely regret the inconvenience and 2-hour delay in arriving at his destination caused by us re-accommodating Mr. Dhale on our next flight with necessary precautions.”
One of Zamir’s friend, Shaked Khan, had said: “I know Zameer. He is an independent person. When he can travel in Mumbai locals during rush hours unaccompanied, I fail to understand what security concerns were