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After winning six medals at World Dwarf Games, Jobby George faces humiliation at airport on return to India

His car was chained near the exit with him sitting inside it, for more than 30 minutes.

News 19 Aug 2017, 18:41 IST

Joby George (second from left)

Joby George (second from left)

What’s the story?

Fresh from an enormous victory from the World Dwarf Games that saw him win a haul of six medals, Jobby George was in for a rude shock as he returned to India. After his well-deserved welcome at the airport, he was humiliated as his car was detained at the exit gate in Kochi.

George, who has been physically challenged from birth, had hired a car and requested to be picked up from the exit gate due to commotion with the traffic. The authorities detained the car with George inside it, at the airport parking for close to thirty minutes and stated a violation of traffic rules as the reason.

He shared his grievances on Facebook, with many people expressing their anger at the turn of events.

Also read: Indian athletes receive special felicitation at World Dwarf Games

The context

The month of August has had an important impact in the international sports arena with the 15-member team that represented India at the World Dwarf Games that took place in the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, bagging a whopping number of 37 medals for the country

Hailing from Kottayam, Jobby George is one such member of the squad, whose tremendous effort and skill added significantly to the number of accolades.

Heart of the matter

George won six medals at the prestigious event and is highly disappointed by this kind of treatment at the airport. Speaking to the media, he points out how his experience until he stepped out of the airport had been fine. His accolades at the championships include a gold in power-lifting, three silvers in shot-put, javelin and discus and a bronze in badminton (doubles).

The three flights he boarded to get to Kochi from Ontario, including the Air Canada flight, had made a special mention acknowledging and appreciating their presence on board. Followed by this, he shares that they were given glorious welcome at the airport as well, only to step out and face such harassment, a humiliation he only suffered silently without making an issue.

The 41-year-old, who has 24 world medals to his name, feels mistreated as a differently-abled person with no account being taken of his effort and achievements in the event and his career. He has never been treated such in any other airports and to have experienced this in his own home country only aggravates his disappointment.

What’s next?

While the officials have stated that the parking officials were only doing what is expected of them following the violation of a traffic rule, more details are yet to be unearthed.

Author’s take

While it is justified that certain actions needed to be taken following the traffic code violations, the nature of the measure taken is certainly questionable. It is certainly not fair for the kind of treatment that George has been put through, and reflects on the kind of treatment that many such differently-abled people have to face. 

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