Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has issued an apology after Bharatnatyam dancer and actress Sudhaa Chandran shared pain and difficulties she has been facing at the airports in the name of security check because of her prosthetic limb.
The actress had lost her leg in an accident in 1981 in a road accident. But she returned to the stage with a prosthetic limb. On Thursday she shared a video on her Instagram account. Narrating the ordeal she said that every time she travels she is grilled by the security agencies. She said that security personnel asked her to remove her artificial limb despite her request to the airport authorities to conduct an Explosive Trace Detector screening.
In response to the complaint where she also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CISF has issued an apology promising to look into the matter. “Will examine why the lady personnel concerned requested Ms Sudhaa Chandran to remove the prosthetics,” CISF said in a Tweet.
We will examine why the lady personnel concerned requested Ms. Sudhaa Chandran to remove the prosthetics. We assure Ms.Sudhaa Chandran that all our personnel will be sensitised again on the protocols so that no inconvenience is caused to travelling passengers. 2/2— CISF (@CISFHQrs) October 22, 2021
“We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to Ms Sudhaa Chandran. As per protocol, prosthetics are to be removed for security checks only under exceptional circumstances. We assure Ms Sudhaa Chandran that all our personnel will be sensitised again on the protocols so that no inconvenience is caused to travelling passengers,” the CISF further said.
We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to Ms. Sudhaa Chandran. As per protocol, prosthetics are to be removed for security checks only under exceptional circumstances. 1/2— CISF (@CISFHQrs) October 22, 2021
In the video message, Sudhaa Chandran appealed to Narendra Modi to issue a card to people with prosthetic limbs just like senior citizens. “Good evening, this is a very personal note that I want to tell our dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji, this is an appeal to the central government, I am Sudhaa Chandran, an actress and dancer by profession, who has danced with an artificial limb and created history and made my country very proud of me,” she said in the video.
“But every time that I go on my professional visits, each time, am stopped at the airport and when I request them at the security, to the CISF officers that please do an ETD (Explosive Trace Detector) for my artificial limb, they still want me to remove my artificial limb and show it to them. Is this humanly possible, Modi ji? Is this what our country is talking about? Is this the respect that a woman gives to another woman in our society?” she asked.
Interestingly, CISF had revised security protocol in 2017 for passengers with prosthetic limbs.
In 2017, the CISF and Bureau for Civil Aviation Security had decided to do away with humiliating practice across airports asking passengers with disabilities to remove prosthetic limbs for X-ray screening. The CISF also decided not to screen wheelchairs through X-ray as it causes inconvenience. Under the revised guidelines, security personnel were asked to use handheld explosive trace detectors for scanning. Only in rare cases if the security personnel feel the requirement they can request passengers to remove the prosthetic limbs.
Sudhaa Chandran is not the first to share her pain and humiliation of undo and redo of prosthetic limbs.
In October 2016 para-cycling Asian medalist Aditya Mehta with a prosthetic limb had written a Facebook post that how a security check by CISF personnel at Bengaluru airport left him bleeding. CISF told him that it was his problem if bleeding.
In 2013 Rajesh Bhatia, a finance professional was allegedly asked to strip from their waist down in front of security personnel at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. In the same year a marketing executive Suranjana Ghosh Aikara had undergone the same trauma.