Meet Ryzqy, a 12-year old diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and His Parents
12-year old Ryzqy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, after a bout of fever when he was an infant. His condition affected the development of his muscles. Currently, with therapy, he is learning to walk with assistance. Meanwhile, he travels frequently to school, student care and hospitals via public transport in a wheelchair pushed by his parents.
Ryzqy is a friendly boy who loves public transport, especially the buses and trains, and expresses his joy freely when they are travelling.
How the community can help
More awareness and understanding needed
Ryzqy’s father, Norhafis, shared that fellow commuters might not be able to tell that he has a condition as Ryzqy looks no different from other 12-year-olds. Ryzqy’s mother, Sarbanun, revealed that there were times when strangers asked them why Ryzqy is on a wheelchair when he looks normal. There were also occasions where fellow commuters would stare at Ryzqy when he got excited on public transport and suddenly started to clap or talk from loudly from the excitement.
Through the Caring SG Commuters Committee’s efforts, the parents hope that more awareness could be raised on hidden conditions. Not all conditions are visible, and they hope the public could be more understanding towards people who might have invisible conditions.
Looking out and being patient
When the family needs to use the lift, some people will give way to them, but there were also times where they had to give way to others instead. Once, they had to carry Ryzqy and the wheelchair down the escalator because the queue at the lift was too long and they were rushing for a hospital appointment.
However, there were times when strangers reminded fellow commuters to be patient, and to give way to Ryzqy. There were also a few occasions where some helpful commuters took the initiative to help deploy the ramp at the rear door of the bus as the bus captain was obstructed by the crowd. Times like these made Ryzqy and his parents feel warm and accepted.
Ryzqy (bottom) and his parents at an event
Source: Norhafis and Sarbanun
Mr Nasrul, Business Development Manager at MIJ Hub, a non-profit organisation where Ryzqy has his therapy sessions at, shares, “Safe and inclusive transport system is key to enabling togetherness in society by providing access and life-enhancing opportunities and connection among people to everyone of different socioeconomic backgrounds. A little empathy, kindness, understanding and patience are all that are needed in commuting with individuals with mobility or special needs. Let’s be advocates in our own way and strive towards augmenting and embracing inclusivity where no one gets left behind.”
Be a Caring Commuter Champion!
The Caring Commuter Champion is a volunteer programme rolled out by the Caring SG Commuters Committee which aims to educate volunteers about the possible challenges faced by public transport commuters such as the elderly, families with young children, people with mobility needs and people with invisible conditions.
Upon completion of an online 2-hour training programme or the e-learning course, volunteers are encouraged to step in to help public transport commuters in need by following the 3As framework of Assess, Ask, then Assist.
Sign up to be a Caring Commuter Champion here!