A blind woman commuting with her young daughter and a guide dog in Singapore nearly missed their bus as another passenger became irritated at the sight of the canine and attempted to prevent them from boarding.
The incident occurred at a bus stop outside Lucky Plaza, a shopping center along the city’s Orchard Road, on the morning of June 19.
In a Facebook post, Cassandra Chiu wrote that she was teaching her daughter how to get to school on her own.
When they reached the stop to change buses, a lady suddenly exclaimed that her guide dog, Elke, could not get on the SBS Transit vehicle.
“When we got to the Lucky Plaza bus stop to change buses, there was a lady there exclaiming loudly that ‘dog cannot go up bus,’” Chiu recalled. “Even after my daughter told her it is a guide dog, she continued to block my way from boarding bus 123.”
“I literally had to push my way through to get onto the bus.”
The tension subsided when the bus driver fortunately saw what was going on and got up out of his seat to ask for anyone willing to give up theirs for Chiu and Elke.
“It was so heartwarming that the situation on the bus is quite different. The driver got out of his seat and asked around for a volunteer to give up their seat for ELKE and I,” Chiu said. “Thank you nice bus captain!”
For the record, SBS Transit bars animals in its buses and trains for “hygiene and religious reasons,” but allows guide dogs for the visually handicapped, according to its official website.
Unfortunately, many still seem to be unaware of the policy, with Chiu saying that the incident actually “happens quite often.”
Chiu vows to continue sharing her daily life with Elke on her Facebook page “to bring about more awareness on the role that service dogs play in the life of a disabled person.”
Netizens expressed their support:
Featured Images via Facebook / Esme the Global Guide Dog