The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 21 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Inhuman cabbies

Kudos to Metro for highlighting the difficulty faced by passengers in getting a taxi at the airport.

However, the same problem exists outside the Peerless Hospital gate as well. Some cabbies are so inhuman that they refuse to take patients leaving the hospital even after being offered almost double the meter rate.

There is a taxi stand just outside the gate of the hospital and the drivers rule the roost. Once I had gone to the hospital for an eye check-up. My eyes had to be dilated and I was unable to see properly. But the taxi drivers at the hospital gate refused to take me to Kamalgazi and I had to walk till the bus stop in that condition.

A. Pybus, Kamalgazi

Lack of sensitivity

I was appalled and seething on reading the report (Pilot sees palsy, not spunk, February 20) about how Jeeja Ghosh was asked to deplane from a SpiceJet flight. How could the captain and staff of the SpiceJet flight SG803 behave in such an insensitive manner?

I happen to have been working at the Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy when Jeeja was a student there, and the grit and determination that she displays was evident even then.

Jeeja is by no means incapable of looking after herself. She has overcome a lot of hurdles and become an educated working woman, who is a very useful and productive member of the society.

The ignorance and prejudice of the pilot, Utprabh Tiwari, is something that just cannot be excused. He showed utter lack of sensitivity and did not even have the decency and courage to come and speak to Jeeja himself. He may be an officer, but he certainly is no gentleman.

Kudos to Jeeja for speaking up. The pilot and crew must apologise to Jeeja in person for the humiliation caused to her and SpiceJet should apologise to the public at large for the callous and insensitive behaviour of their staff.

I hope the Directorate General of Civil Aviation takes note of this incident and disciplines Utprabh Tiwari for abusing the authority given to him.

All airlines should have mandatory training and sensitisation programmes for the staff to make sure such an incident is never repeated.

Ambika Jaipal Singh, Palm Avenue



My daughter showed me the picture of Jeeja Ghosh in Metro today. We had seen her on the popular TV game show Didi No. 1. But after reading the news I was stunned. How could the airline do this to a lady who is an example of overcoming the odds with grit and determination?

In the show, I remember she had competed against able-bodied women and won. We were especially struck by the way she played a round that required her to stand without support, take aim and put some balls in a net. Such was her focus that she defeated the others even in that round, before going on to increase her lead in the subsequent rounds involving general knowledge and mental alertness. Never was a victory better deserved.

I understand that a pilot is responsible for the safe landing of passengers in his flight. Since he did not bother to come out of the cockpit and meet Jeeja before taking the decision, I shudder to think what kind of message had gone to him from the in-flight attendants. They are supposed to be trained in soft skills. Perhaps it is time they revisited a more elementary rulebook: of basic courtesy to a fellow human being and the sense to distinguish an intelligent and responsible passenger from an imbecile unable to take care of himself, unaccompanied and therefore at risk of being a liability to the airline.

Krishna Banerjee, Jodhpur Park


It was extremely distressing to learn that Jeeja Ghosh, an outstanding person and a role model for many, was asked to deplane by the pilot of a SpiceJet flight to Goa.

It is a matter of shame that such things still happen in a country that wants to be seen as a developed nation.

This is all the more condemnable as a similar incident happened at Bangalore airport some time ago and created a huge uproar all over the country.

It appears that airline pilots are totally insensitive to mainstreaming of disadvantaged persons.

I strongly feel that pilots and aviation industry officials should be given awareness training to make them disability friendly. As for the pilot and cabin crew of this particular SpiceJet flight, they should be reprimanded for their senseless judgement of a physically challenged passenger because disability does not mean intellectually disability.

Krishna Roy

Jeeja Ghosh should take the airline to court. When she has travelled overseas without any escort, why did the SpiceJet captain ask her to deplane? Just because he has his say as a pilot doesn’t mean a passenger can be humiliated. He should be penalised for insulting Jeeja.



Shocked and disappointed

When one fine morning a 25-year-old girl like me picks up the newspaper and reads about the rape of a woman at gunpoint (Shocker of a claim and rebuttal, February 16) it sends shivers down the spine.

I am shocked and disappointed with the rash and uncalled for remarks made by the chief minister and the sports minister.

Being a woman, the CM was expected to show some compassion before dismissing the case as rubbish. The only hope for common people is now the media. The efforts taken by The Telegraph are laudable. When all pleas fell on deaf ears, the media carries on with its social duties and moral responsibilities. Last but not the least, my salute to Damayanti Sen, the joint commissioner of police (crime). Calcutta no more is a safe haven, but it is just because of someone like Sen that I heave a small sigh of relief.

Nidhi Dokania

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is so arrogant that she cannot accept anything going wrong. Her reaction in most cases is instant and not based on facts. Her latest goof-up came when she described the Park Street rape as concocted or fabricated. Being a woman, she should have exercised restraint before making such a comment against another woman.

Raj Bagri, Ho-Chi-Minh Sarani


This is in response to the comment of sports minister Madan Mitra with the regard to the rape of a woman at gunpoint.

I do not think he has any authority to questions a person’s marital status and choice of hangout zone in a case where such details are irrelevant, too private, and downright sexist. I would like to ask our esteemed minister what relation the lady’s marital status and personal choice of hangout has to this case and whether he would care to find out if a male victim of crime is “stree-bichchhinna” or not.

Rajannya Lahiri, Garia


The news of the rape is shocking, particularly for us who are in the hospitality industry. Such instances should be dealt with strongly and the culprits should be punished as strictly as possible. Hope our cops would make us proud.

Manash Kumar Das, Behala

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