A 37-year-old, Amit Patel, blind man felt crushed when London commuters didn’t give up their seats in a cramped train for him and his guide dog.
“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 (Dog) safe at the same time, this is when you’ll see a tear running down my face. Life is difficult enough.”
Amit lost his sight five years ago from a hemorrhage behind his eyes.
Since then, he got himself Kika, his dog who is one of only 5% of guide dogs who are trained to take their owners on escalators.
“Losing my sight was very lonely. If I’m traveling by public transport, I’m sometimes like a scared little boy.”
Patel claims he was forced to stand with his back against the doors while Kika kept slipping on the wet floor of the train.
He wrote from Kika’s Twitter account, “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.”
Some people support Amit at least with words. He wrote, “Thank you all for your kind messages, unfortunately, being ignored when asking for a seat is a daily occurrence for us.”
“One small act of kindness could have turned the situation around completely.”
Amit is also dealing with severe migraines ever since losing his sight and says it regularly feels as though chili powder has been rubbed in his eyes. He said: “Pain meds don’t work so it’s about mentally blocking it out.”
It’s not the first time Amit has experienced rude commuters.
In February, he experienced people trying to push past him on an escalator. He said: “These types of incidents really knock my confidence but you’d never know it as I put on a brave face. In reality, I feel like a terrified little boy inside.”
Kika previously saved her owner’s life when a car jumped a red light at a crossing. Amit Patel added: “She saw the car, got in front of me and took the hit, the car grazed her nose. It was three days before she could work again.”