Narrating a recent incident, the dancer said the sitar of an eminent sitarist, who took an Air India flight to New York, was found broken on landing.
Eminent classical dancer Sonal Mansingh on Monday raised in Rajya Sabha the issue of poor arrangements made by air carriers, including Air India, in transporting instruments of travelling artistes. Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, the nominated member said there are hardly any arrangements to ensure the safety of equipment or costumes of artistes while travelling on flights.
Narrating a recent incident, the dancer said the sitar of an eminent sitarist, who took an Air India flight to New York, was found broken on landing. “On November 1, an eminent sitarist travelled to New York. The performance was on November 2. The sitar was broken vertically and horizontally despite packing it as per international norms. A sitar costs Rs 4 lakh,” she said.
Instead of an apology, Air India asked the artiste to buy another ticket for the safety of the instrument, the noted dancer said. “It is ridiculous,” she said. “My request through you sir is that both the Culture Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry should come together to discuss this issue. Culture is not taken very seriously. I feel very sad about it,” she added.
Unfortunately, the community of performing artistes have no voice, no representation generally. There are hardly any discussion in the House, she rued. Congress leader Mohd. Ali Khan raised the issue of the lack of facilities for people with special needs. He said there was a difference in treatment for first-class passengers and those travelling by economy class. The amenities should be the same for all kinds of passengers.