Aditya Mehta is a two-time silver medallist at the Asian Para-Cycling Championship in 2013 and a vocal campaigner for the rights of the differently abled. But apparently that doesn't count for much as far as airports are concerned.
Mehta says he was humiliated at the Bengaluru International Airport on Monday when he was flying back home to Hyderabad, with security personnel asking him to undo and redo his prosthetic limb, resulting in an injury.
And sadly, this is not even the first time that this has happened.
In an angry Facebook post, Mehta wrote," Yet again I was forced to remove my prosthetic leg at KIA, Bangalore. Possibly an generous Dussehera gift from CISF - Central Industrial Security Force."
Mehta wrote that he had to board a flight from Bengaluru to Hyderabad at 5:30 am when he was forced to remove and put on his prosthesis by security personnel.
"I have been suffering with an injury since the past 20 days with my stump (OPERATED LIMB) and the security check officials only had to say "It is your problem!" in this regards. It took me 40 min for the entire process of removing and wearing back my prosthesis limb which left me bleeding at the end," he wrote.
He wrote that many officials at other airports were more sensitive, but at Bengaluru, Mehta said that it was the same official who had harassed him earlier who forced him to undergo this humiliation.
"He was too reluctant to let me go and STRIPPED ME yet another time with the people around mocking at me," Mehta wrote.
Mehta said that despite their pleas there were no body scanners for the differently abled to ensure they didn't have to remove prosthesis and security personnel had also not been sensitised.
The cyclist wrote about how it was a painful procedure to remove the prosthetic and wearing it again and that it could scar a physically challenged person's mind. However, he said that this will only force him to fight further for the rights of the physically challenged. He also asked authorities to take note of his case and work towards preventing such cases in future.
"This isn't a plea because we have pleaded before with no luck. This is a challenge to your oppressive system," he wrote.
Here's the full post:
The shocking bit is that this isn't even the first time that Mehta has had to undergo this ordeal. Just in August, Mehta had been forced to remove his prosthesis at the Bengaluru airport by security personnel.
Earlier this year, 24-year-old Antara Telang was travelling from Mumbai to Bengaluru when she was shocked after security personnel demanded she unbutton her jeans and remove her prosthetic leg, which was then taken for scanning.
A differently abled woman had also complained against national carrier Air India for denying her a wheelchair citing a security risk.