When person with a disability, an elderly person, or a pregnant woman, gets on a bus or a train, the general consensus is to give up your seat. It’s just polite.
But sadly, a group of young people on a train in Sydney didn’t get the memo. They have been shamed online after a photo has emerged online which showed them seemingly ignoring an elderly woman, forcing her to stand.
A Sydney man shared the controversial image on Facebook, showing younger commuters sat and looked at their phones while the old woman had to stand. The photo was captioned: ‘No respect’, and was shared 22,000 times and gained more than 2,100 comments.
The photo has gone viral and sparked the outrage of the internet. Hundreds of people on social media slammed the young people for not giving up their seat to the elderly woman.
“Absolutely pathetic,’ one man wrote. ‘No consideration for the elderly at all.”
Others described it as ‘disgusting’ and ‘sad’.
“No consideration for the elderly at all,” one woman commented.
Another wrote: ‘I’m 20 and I can’t believe this. None of them would’ve heard if she’d even asked politely for the seat – all three seated with their earphones in or headphones on! Where’s the human connection?’
Besides, many people said the commuters would have offered the elderly woman a seat.
“I would have offered my seat as soon as she jumped on the train, I’ve done it before for an old lady.”
Someone else offered another explanation: “Not defending them but… someone may have offered, but the elderly said ‘No It’s ok I’m getting off soon or at next stop.”
Another suggested: “It might be too hard for her to sit and stand back up. I’d like to think the kid with the hat offered. The other 3 are worthless.”
After the photo went viral, a man claiming to be the woman’s grandson has stepped forward to reveal the real story behind the confronting photo.
He told radio station 2GB that his grandmother was in fact waiting to get off at the next stop.
‘The mature age lady was preparing to disembark at the next station – she’s my nanna,’ the man told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
Chief Executive of Sydney Trains Howard Collins told the radio that the story proves pictures can be deceiving.
‘A picture, whilst it might tell you a thousand words, sometimes it might be the wrong words,’ he said.
The chief executive also said the imagery serves as a reminder of the importance of doing the right thing and giving a seat to those most in need.
‘Don’t wait to be asked, get up and make space for those who need it,’ he said.
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