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Blind man puts camera on guide dog to expose daily abuse from commuters

Amit Patel and his guide dog Kika. Credit: SWNS

A blind former doctor has strapped a GoPro camera to his guide dog to capture the daily grind of his rush hour commute.

Amit Patel, 37, said he is constantly pushed out of the way as he navigates around the trains and buses of London with Kika his guide dog.

The former A&E doctor, who lost his sight three years ago, said commuters step over Kika and even hit her with umbrellas to get her to move out of the way on escalators.

Mr Patel, who recently became a father, said he decided to video his commute so that his wife Seema can share footage on social media to raise awareness.

He said: "It all started when people barged me out of the way, they hit [Kika] with umbrellas, bags, I get shoulder charged every day and when my wife looks back at the footage she can see they have done it deliberately.

"They have loads of space to get past but they seem to think it is fun to barge into a blind person."

Kika is one of only five percent of guide dogs trained to take their owners on escalators. Credit: SWNS

He added: "Kika always sits to my left hand side so we often block the escalator and people will hit her with bags and umbrellas to get her to move out of the way.

"The worst part is the tutting and negative comments behind me. People are so rude and arrogant and assume they can do whatever they want.

"One lady even said I should apologise to the people behind her for holding them up. I asked her if I should apologise for being blind and she said 'yes'."

In one video, shared online, Mr Patel is ignored by staff and commuters outside a closed tube station.

In the end, he is forced to call out for help to get attention.

"Sometimes I wonder who is the blind person when there are people glued to their mobile phones," Mr Patel said.

"It really scares Kika sometimes, I can feel how upset she gets and when I get upset she senses it as well and she won't go on the escalators for a few days."

Mr Patel travels nearly every day on the train network, often using Southeastern trains to London Bridge and the Northern and Jubilee tube lines.

He said that he often is not offered a seat by fellow passengers.

He said: "People just don't care, they assume I'm going to take up the whole carriage.

"Sometimes I get a train with my four-month old son and I say quite loudly 'Kika, find me a seat' but no-one budges."

Kika has even saved Mr Patel's life. Credit: SWNS

Kika has grown so loyal to Mr Patel that she even saved his life when a car jumped a red light at a crossing.

"She saw the car and she got in front of me and took the hit - the car grazed her nose. It was three days before she could work again," Mr Patel said.

"She's there for me and looks after me, sometimes it's a bit of give and take."

The family are so fond of Kika, who they call the "blonde leading the blind" that they even describe her as the big sister to their four-month-old son.

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Mr Patel lost his sight after undergoing six cornea transplants to correct a condition called Keratoconus, which changes the shape of the cornea.

After seeming to correct his blurry vision for around nine months, each transplant began to be rejected by his body.

Now, the former University College Hospital doctor has no sight in his right eye and minimal vision in his left.

He also said the condition causes him constant pain "like someone is rubbing chilli in my eyes".

He added: "Losing my sight is very lonely, if I'm travelling by public transport I'm sometimes like a scared little boy sat in the corner."

Amit now volunteers for RNIB, Action for Blind People and Guide Dogs for the Blind to help coach new guide dog users.