The nation has been celebrating and felicitating Olympic medallists for weeks following the commencement of the games in Rio, but while these Olympians are getting the well deserved accolades, some are experiencing an utter lack of respect in their own country.
Such is the case for Aditya Mehta, who bagged two silver medals at the Paralympics in 2013, as he was humiliated twice by airport authorities in two different cities in India. No one even noticed the plight of the Palalympian until an outraged Mehta shared his ordeal on Facebook.
According to his post, the Para-cyclist Mehta was forced to remove his prosthetic leg at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi as officials refused to let him pass if he didn’t.
Amputated below the leg, Mehta was against forced to do the same while travelling from Bengaluru to Chandigarh, and wrote that he felt almost stripped and that it was a humiliating experience for him to be subjected to such ‘immoral treatment’.
Mehta said the officials were unapologetic about their behaviour and when he mentioned that airports are supposed to have full body scanners, they said that they didn’t have the kind of budget to buy them.
While Mehta has taken up the issue with CISF, the incident is shameful and exposes the reality of the kind of insensitivity amputees are subjected to in our society and also how Olympians are forgotten.
It might help if the authorities also extended support to many unsung heroes who have made India proud and save them from such humiliation.