Indian para swimmer waited for one-and-a-half hours to get a wheelchair at IGI airport

New Delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2022, 06:39 PM(IST)

Indian para swimmer Mohammed Shams Aalam Shaikh Photograph:( Twitter )

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"I got my wheelchair after waiting for one-and-a-half hours. Through my tweets, I wanted to raise awareness that if someone is asking to use his or her own wheelchair, please allow them. Everybody can not fit in the same size and they are not comfortable in a wheelchair where they need someone's support to push them from behind" Shams Aalam said.


 

Indian para swimmer Mohammed Shams Aalam Shaikh alleged that he had to wait for nearly 90 minutes to get his wheelchair at IGI airport in New Delhi on Monday, after landing post a 12-hour-long journey from Melbourne.

Aalam said he had informed Air India's cabin crew that he wanted his own wheelchair after landing but was provided one that was "uncomfortable" and sized XL. However, an Air India spokesperson said Aalam was provided with an aisle wheelchair "as per procedure from the aircraft as soon as the flight landed".

"His personal wheelchair arrived at the belt in a while after due security clearance. He was escorted by airport handling personnel throughout. The inconvenience caused by the delay, which was beyond our control, in the arrival of his wheelchair is regretted," said the spokesperson.

"The wheelchairs at airports are big. Nobody can drive them on their own, they have to be pushed. How can I ask someone to come to the washroom? If other countries can provide their own wheelchairs, why are we not getting them in India? It's not the first time I have faced this, it has happened in the past on domestic flights," said Aalam, who tweeted about the issue.

"I got my wheelchair after waiting for one-and-a-half hours. Through my tweets, I wanted to raise awareness that if someone is asking to use his or her own wheelchair, please allow them. Everybody can not fit in the same size and they are not comfortable in a wheelchair where they need someone's support to push them from behind" he added.

[with inputs from agencies]

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