The deets: Santraj was selected by Chintan to attend a conference on waste management that was being held in Brazil. He got all his papers together -- no small feat -- and the NGO got him a plane ticket. Unfortunately, they were so good as to procure him a business-class ticket.
When he got to the airport to catch his Alitalia flight, though, the carrier's officials wouldn't let him board the plane because he "didn't fit the profile of an international traveler" -- his English is poor, and, well, he is a ragpicker, after all.
It's just...disgusting. Sickening. Heartbreaking. Now Chintan is threatening to sue Alitalia for its blatantly bad behavior, and has four demands:
- Make public the airline's legal code of who can and who cannot fly
- Give Santraj a written apology
- Train its staff to handle diverse clients with respect
- Compensate Santraj monetarily
Perhaps I'm being too dramatic; this incident may be no worse than a million other little hurts of life. I only hope that the man is genuinely compensated by something more important than money -- sincere remorse on the part of the airline's personnel at having treated another human being so abominably.