#bameed womened digimeet

Who are you?

In 1972, the President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of his country's Asian minority, giving them 90 days to leave the country.

Born and raised in Uganda, my dad arrived in the UK with his family with nothing but memories of their home. He went to India, had an arranged marriage and began a new life in London. A baby boy arrived but tragically died by sudden infant death syndrome at only 3 months. A girl arrived a year later. 4 years later, the prayers for a boy were finally answered. My name is Ritesh Patel, born in Clapham, South London, to a Ugandan born Indian, Swahili speaking Father and an Indian Born, Gujarati speaking Mother. I was born with no vision in my right eye.

I have always been hesitant in sharing the challenges I had faced growing up and to some extent, I still am.

Where are you know?

I just feel blessed that my parents are happy and I can support them in any way possible. I am a Teacher. I am a Subject Leader in Design and Technology at an all-Girls Catholic Secondary School in North London. I live in South London (Yes, I like Trains and Buses a lot) For the past 3 years I have led the event, #TMEnfield to share and celebrate a range of pedagogy with a number of inspiring educators. I am currently working with RNIB to create an educational based charity that will help raise awareness and funding to support and inspire partially sighted Educators in the UK

Where did you come from?

Mr Patel had a corner shop. My mum was stabbed on 2 occasions in the shop. Racism was of the norm when I was growing up. But my parents worked hard. They had challenges but continued to graft. Because they knew it was about the future of their 2 children. Selfless human beings. Hard to find! I grew up in Lewisham and went to one the roughest school in town. Yes, I was called names such as strange, weirdo and of course the P word. I would be kicked and punched on the way home, not tell anyone and cry in isolation. Due to my race or impairment, I didn’t know back then. School life was a nightmare. Being a Teacher was the last thing on my mind! I would apply to jobs scared of ticking the disabled box. I don’t care anymore.

Overcoming obstacles and adviCe

Resilience. Keep your head down and stay positive. Surround yourself with people who are real and inspire you. Inspire and help others. Never let negativity control your thought process. Don’t blame others. Be honest and step up when you need to. Have ambition and passion. Above all, believe. Believe you can and you will. 

Thank you. We Are In This Together 

Author Profile

Ritesh Patel

Ritesh Patel

Subject Leader of Design & Technology. #TMEnfield T&L

13 stories


A Alexander A Alexander @andream656 6 months ago
A great blog Ritesh believe you can and you will is my mantra for this week.
Mal Krishnasamy Mal Krishnasamy @malcpd 6 months ago
Love this - 'Above all believe'.
Matt  Young Matt Young @mattyoung 6 months ago
Ritesh you are a legend. I agree to surrounding yourself with people who are real and inspire you - those people include yourself! Glad to be in this together with you!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 6 months ago
Ritesh, you are one of the most humble guys I have met. Thank you sharing your story. It is inspiring. Your family had hopes, dreams & conviction, these values shine in you. Excited to hear more about the education disability charity project - another layer of identity we rarely explore in our staff!
Martha Da Costa-Sherwood Martha Da Costa-Sherwood @dacosmeconsult 6 months ago
Ritesh your post oozes humility and I love your no excuses attitude. Thanks for sharing
Claire Bracher Claire Bracher @missb 6 months ago
This is so powerful- because it's not trying to be anything other than how it is. Thank you for sharing Ritesh. It's going to be an honour to meet you finally in a few weeks- your words are so true- surround yourself with those who are real and believe... thank you!
Jaz Ampaw-Farr Jaz Ampaw-Farr @jazampawfarr 6 months ago
Blooming fantastic advice there Ritesh. When is your book out?
Pran  Patel Pran Patel @mrpatel 6 months ago
Jai Shri Krishna Bhai - such honesty and humility sharing your story will empower all of us.
Parm  Plummer Parm Plummer @parmplum 6 months ago
Thank you, Ritesh. Your story touched my heart. Believe, and it will happen.
Anshi Singh Anshi Singh @teachanshi 6 months ago
Very honest and to the point! We surely are in this together !
Anoara Mughal Anoara Mughal @ano 6 months ago
Thank you for being brave and sharing this- not an easy thing to do. I am also hesitant about sharing my childhood but your bravery may encourage me to do so one day!
Suzie Happy Suzie Happy @suhappyness 6 months ago
I love your resilience. Thank you for sharing
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