#India- A better deal for differently abled flyers in the air

Ramya Kannan, 
27-Nov-2012, The Hindu
CHENNAI: The Asok Kumar Committee, which examined ways to make air travel hassle-free for persons with disabilities and reduced mobility, has assessed the situation in airports across the country and made recommendations to ease their travel travails.
The committee was constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to review the existing Civil Aviation Requirements on Carriage by Air of Persons with Disability and/or Persons with Reduced Mobility (CAR), examine best practices in the world and present a detailed set of guidelines to improve the experience.
The report, which was ready in October, highlights the need to bring in amendments to the existing CAR and covers other important areas hitherto not covered.
“What we have tried to do is to make air travel comfortable for all and with dignity,” says Mr. Asok Kumar, chairperson of the committee. “With every step there are numerous difficulties if you put yourself in the shoes of persons with disabilities, and different agencies are constantly shifting responsibilities. We have addressed all that.”
It has been recommended to clearly allocate responsibility between airports and airlines to avoid delays and inconvenience and standardise equipment and facilities in consultation with government departments overseeing implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act. Internal audits should be introduced to ensure that assistive devices are available in good condition and persons handling these are well trained.
The draft, which is being circulated for comments, insists that responsibilities be fixed on each stakeholder — not just airport and airlines, but agents, ticketing websites, airport operator and CISF.
A complaints resolution officer to deal with these issues relating to persons with disabilities must be appointed at each airport. An ombudsman should be appointed to settle complaints between different service providers and passengers.
A comprehensive disabled — friendly airport design has also been drawn up, according to committee member Rahul Cherian Jacob of the Inclusive Planet, Centre for Disability, Law and Policy.
The committee has urged the Ministry to ensure compliance of recommendations within three years at major airports, and then at others in a phased manner.
Significantly, it has built into the recommendations penal provisions for all violators, including private airlines


Mumbai, Cops detain boy for FB post against Raj Thackeray #censorship

Boy questioned for alleged Facebook post against

Raj Thackeray let off

POLITICS NEWS, Updated Nov 29, 2012 at 08:50am IST

Mumbai: The 19-year-old boy who was questioned for allegedly posting offensive comments against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Facebook has now been let off. The boy was handed over to the police by MNS workers on Wednesday to explain the comment posted about Raj Thackeray.

The party’s student wing president also filed a complaint. Police sources say that the boy’s Facebook account was hacked before the alleged offensive comment was posted.

Earlier, a bandh was on Wednesday observed in Palghar town in adjoining Thane district following a call by Shiv Sena against suspension of two senior police officers in connection with the arrest of two girls over a Facebook post, criticising shutdown during Bal Thackeray’s funeral.

Commercial establishments, schools and colleges at Palghar remained shut and there was no vehicular traffic in the town, party sources said. No untoward incident was reported so far, police said. The Palghar Bar Association had also called for a bandh in the courts today to protest the transfer of the local Judicial Magistrate First Class (JFMC) who had “promptly” granted bail to the two girls.

The girls, both 21, were arrested after one of them had lamented in a Facebook post the November 18 shutdown due to Thackeray’s funeral and her friend had ‘liked’ the post. Though the girl didn’t name Thackeray, the local Sena leader complained against the girls and police arrested the duo on November 19, sparking an outrage.

On November 20, police arrested the vandals who had damaged one of the girls’ uncle’s hospital on November 18, despite her removing the post and apologising that day itself. Maharashtra government had on Tuesday suspended the two police officers, SP (Thane rural) Ravindra Sengaonkar and senior police inspector Shrikant Pingle.

A 19-year-old boy has been detained by the police in Palghar for allegedly posting a scurrilous post on Facebook against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.

Yahoo! India News – 14 hours ago

MUMBAI: It seems that the police have learnt no lessons from the arrest of two young women over a Facebook post that has sparked off rage against the government over the misuse of Section 66A.

In spite of all the criticism that the police faced over the arrests, a 19-year-old boy has been detained by the police in Palghar for allegedly posting a scurrilous post on Facebook against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, NDTV reports say.

NDTV reports says that a mob of MNS supporters had forced the boy to come to the police station and was detained there but was not charged yet.

However, a police official from Palghar, declining to be identified, said the “youth had neither been detained nor arrested, but was merely being questioned” and no offence has yet been registered in the matter.

Identified as an 18-year-old meat shop assistant, Sunil Vishwakarmawas picked up Wednesday for quizzing by police after some Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists complained of objectionable matter allegedly posted under his name on networking site Facebook.

According to initial investigations, it was found that Vishwakarma was unable to operate Facebook and police suspected someone might have created his fake profile, pointing to hacking.

The official said the matter was beyond the purview of the Palghar police and would be transferred to the Thane police’s cyber cell for probe and action.

Vishwakarma “has been kept in the police station to protect him from possible attacks” as police probed the issue, the official said.

Today, Palghar town and surrounding areas remained shut Wednesday in response to a call by the Shiv Sena to oppose the suspension of the two police officials who had arrested two girls for their Facebook comments on Bal Thackeray’s death.

The shutdown call evoked a near-total response in the industrial town, around 100 km north-west of the state capital Mumbai in Thane district.

Two girls from Palghar, Shaheen Dadha and her friend Renu Srinivasan, had questioned on Facebook the shutdown after the death of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray Nov 17 and also the following day when he was cremated in Mumbai. They were arrested by two police officials, who were placed under suspension Tuesday.


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