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Living with a disability can be extremely challenging. Navigating the world, a world that was built for able-bodied individuals, may just be the biggest challenge of them all. It’s our job to do what we can to make things a bit easier for those who need some extra help. That’s what being human is all about.
Amit Patel, a 37-year-old man from London, lost his sight five years ago after developing keratoconus. He gets around the city with help from his guide dog, Kika. She’s extremely loyal and well trained. Recently both Amit and Kika had a horrible experience during a train ride where commuters refused to give up their seats for them.
“People can be so selfish, they pretend they can’t see or hear when I ask if there’s a seat available. It’s so humiliating when I struggle to find something to hold onto & keep Kika safe at the same time, this is when you’ll see a tear running down my face. Life is difficult enough.”
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Then from Kika’s Twitter account, Amit wrote using “Kika’s voice”:
“We walked to the end of the platform in the pouring rain so that we can board the designated disabled section on the @Se_Railway train and even with dad giving me the command ‘find a seat’ not one passenger gave up their seat. Dad had to stand with his back against the doors whilst trying not to slip & I was sliding all over the place as the floor was wet. Have some humanity people!”
Despite Amit’s request, despite SEEING him there, obviously blind, obviously with a guide dog, not a single person budged. Amit and Kika were forced to stand on a wet floor. What’s wrong with this picture?
“Losing my sight was very lonely,” he added. “If I’m traveling by public transport, I’m sometimes like a scared little boy.”
This is a sad story. It’s heartbreaking, really. And to make matters worse, this isn’t his first experience like this. Check out the video below where Amit had to deal with an aggressive commuter on an escalator. Wake up, people! Dig deeper! Do better!