Air India has been sending flights to the COVID-19 hit areas around the world and bringing back Indians who have been stranded. The crew members have been putting their lives on the line, literally.
However, despite their heroic efforts, the crew members and staff of Air India's flights are being ostracised and excluded by their neighbours.
#FlyAI : We would like to appeal to all,particularly the law enforcement agencies,to ensure that AirIndia crew are treated with respect and freedom that every citizen deserves, especially those who have been discharging their duties in selfless manner for return of fellow Indians pic.twitter.com/Uthlk57jG3— Air India (@airindiain) March 22, 2020
Obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty.
- Air India
These stickers were put outside the houses of the crew members:
The airline issued a statement to the resident welfare associations (RWAs) of crew members who operated special flights to fly Indians back, saying there were just performing their duty towards the nation.
We do not get our salary on time. We do not know when we will get the same. We do not think about ourselves whenever we are called to fly to war zones and now corona hotspots to evacuate Indians. Our salary, which for months has not come on time, is being deducted and on top of this we are facing this ostracisation from our neighbours and RWAs. We are humans, don’t break us.
- Crew member
The airline stated that the crew members were taking necessary precautions and they should be considered unsung heroes instead of being excluded.
It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante resident welfare associations and neighbours have started ostracising the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty. These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and near and dear ones have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries, thanks to the heroic efforts of these Air India crew.
- Air India
The airline added that sufficient quantity of hand sanitisers, gloves and masks for crew and passengers were provided on board. And the crew members coming to India from affected cities were sent on home quarantine or to hospitals for check-up. Hazmat suits are also placed in the cockpit for use in aircraft by crew in the event of any suspect corona case being on board.
On one hand, India is clapping for those who are fighting this war against coronavirus. But on the other, these crew members are ostracise them for doing their jobs. Its time India walks the talk by respecting these unsung heroes.