Editorial: Need of the hour

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has apologised to noted dancer and actress Sudhaa Chandran after she said she felt disheartened and humiliated when she was recently asked to remove her artificial limb during the security check at an airport. ‘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 will examine why the lady personnel concerned requested Ms. Sudhaa Chandran to remove the prosthetics,’ the CSIF said. ‘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,’ it added.

Sudhaa had earlier issued a video statement saying it was very disheartening and humiliating for her when she was asked by a woman personnel of the Central force to remove her prosthetic. She made an ‘humble appeal’ to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make provision for a certificate or a card that can be easily displayed by specially-abled people at airports and other public places for easy security checks. Stating that she had ‘danced with an artificial limb and created history and made the country very proud,’ she added: ‘But every time I go on my professional visits, each time I am stopped at the airport and when I request security, to CISF officers that please do an ETD (explosive trace detector) test for my artificial limb they still want me to remove my artificial limb and show it to them.’

‘Is it humanly possible, Modi ji?’ she said and added: ‘Is this what our country is talking about? Is this the respect that a woman gives another woman in our society? It is my humble request to you Modi ji that please give us a card just like senior citizens have.’ Sudha lost right leg at the age of 16 in 1981 after she got injured in an accident. She subsequently regained some mobility with the help of a prosthetic Jaipur foot. Since then, she has been performing as a professional dancer as well as acting in films and television shows. Though it is a welcome move that the CISF has tendered an apology, adequate steps should be taken to end the ordeal of the differently-abled.

NT Bureau