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 & even with dad giving me the command “find a seat” not one passenger gave up their seat! ??????@GuidedogsLondon @guidedogs @transportforall pic.twitter.com/MHl0xtw6fU— Kika ???? (@Kika_GuideDog) March 27, 2018
A blind man who was forced to stand during his Monday train ride alongside his guide dog said he felt humiliated.
Amit Patel, 37, lost his sight five years ago because of a hemorrhage behind his eyes. On Monday, when Patel and his guide dog Kika went to the train in London and walked all the way to the end of the platform to board the designated disabled section, he didn’t think that ride was going to ruin his day.
As the man entered the carriage and gave his dog a command to find him a seat, absolutely nobody in the train offered them a spot.
“It’s so humiliating when I struggle to hold onto something and keep Kika safe at the same time, this is when you’ll see a tear running down my face. Life is difficult enough,” Patel said.
People can be so selfish, they pretend they can’t see or hear when I ask if there’s a seat available. Its 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 https://t.co/HMqGeJqRmh— Amit Patel (@BlindDad_Uk) March 28, 2018
Being forced to stand, Patel had a hard time as he was unable to find anything to hold on to within his grasp.
In the end, he stood with his back against the doors and his poor dog Kika kept slipping as the carriage’s floor was wet.
After sharing his heartbreaking story, Patel expressed appreciation for the outpour of love and support he got from complete strangers. On his social media account, he said that while he was upset when the incident happened, he was thankful for the kind messages.
Thank you all for you kind messages unfortunately being ignored when asking for a seat is a daily occurrence for us. I was very upset yesterday as the floor on the train was slippery, Kika kept sliding & she was obviously distressed. She looks after me everyday & I felt useless.— Amit Patel (@BlindDad_Uk) March 28, 2018
Patel suffers from serious migraines because of his eye problem. However, he said pain medication doesn't help, so he often feels bad about not being able to care for his dog properly.
“I was very upset yesterday as the floor on the train was slippery, Kika kept sliding and she was obviously distressed. She looks after me everyday and I felt useless,” he said.
After the incident, the Southeastern train spokesman issued a statement urging passengers to be kind.
“We would hope that people use their judgment and give up seats to passengers who may have a greater need, and we’re sorry to hear that Mr. Patel experienced an awkward journey on this occasion,” the spokesman said.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Patel has experienced something similar. In February, people tried pushing him while he was on an escalator.
“These types of incidents really knock my confidence, but you’d never know it as I put on a brave face,” he said. “In reality, I feel like a terrified little boy inside.”
It’s beyond saddening to know that people, in what’s expected to be a civilized nation such as the United Kingdom, would treat a man like Patel with such disregard.
He shouldn’t be forced to live this way. Instead, we should demand that people treat each other with dignity and respect.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Pexels, Francesco Paggiaro