A taxi driver in the UK has been suspended "indefinitely" after an elderly Indian-origin wheelchair user was "humiliated and insulted" when he refused to assist her down the ramp at a temple in the city of Leicester.
Saroj Seth, who had her right leg amputated three years ago, asked for help to get into the vehicle after visiting the Shree Geeta Bhavan Temple on Clarendon Park Road in the East Midlands city. But the 78-year-old former magistrate said she was left "humiliated and insulted" when the driver refused the assistance and drove off.
"There was no compassion, no kindness," said Saroj Seth, who was awarded an Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to community cohesion in Leicester in 2011.
"He said ''no, it is a liability to take a disabled person'' and said he was not going to touch the wheelchair. He didn't want to come near me and stood by his car," she told the BBC.
"That incident left me very angry that with all my hard work, people still haven't understood (about equality), and there is no compassion whatsoever for people who are not able and are dependent on others," she added.
A witness to the incident took to Twitter to complain about the driver's behaviour on Sunday. Nisha Sahdev wrote that he left the disabled lady outside a temple in the rain after refusing to wheel her down the ramp to the car.
She said: "I was shocked and sickened! He got in his car and drove off!!"
ADT Taxis, the company Saroj Seth said she uses regularly while highlighting her disabled status, admitted that the fault lay with them and said an investigation was underway after the driver's indefinite suspension.
"The fault lies with us somewhere and we are investigating the incident. It is an unfortunate situation and we will learn from this," said ADT manager Nigel Ord.
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