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24th May 2023

‘My partner feared he’d never meet someone due to his facial disfigurement – but it was love at first sight’

Steve Hopkins

The pair only met for the first time in person just before their wedding

A man with facial disfigurations feared he’d never find love – but is now happily married.

Amit Ghose was born with neurofibromatosis type 1, a condition that causes tumours to grow along nerves.

The 33-year-old lost his left eye when he was 11 and wore an eye patch while waiting for a prosthetic eye, leading to bullying at school.

But despite those challenges, Amit says he’s “always” embraced his disfigurement and has a “positive personality”.

Often overhearing distant family comment on his looks at family weddings, Amit worried that he would never find love.

But after being introduced to an Indian woman called Piyali by a family friend in May 2021, he’s never looked back.

They spoke over video call and to Amit’s delight, 26-year-old Piyali didn’t care about his appearance and they clicked from the “first moment.”

The pair tied the knot less than a year later, marrying in India in December 2021.

Amit, a regional manager for a law firm, from Birmingham, said: “I worried that people judged me for my appearances and what the books cover rather than judging me as a person.

“But from the moment I said hello to Piyali and introduced myself, we clicked.

“She’d seen some photos of me but it didn’t bother her, just spoke to me as if she was speaking to any other person.

“Every time I was on a video call though I’d only show half my face to her and she said to me ‘I’m not going to get married to half of your face’, which was a defining moment for me.”

Piyali, a make-up artist now living with Amit in Birmingham, said: “When he didn’t show me his full face, it annoyed me.

“When he turned his face, I’d see it fully and be interested. “When I saw his full face for me it was normal.

“It was him as a personality, I didn’t associate him as a face, he’s a person. “I was shocked when he took his prosthetic eye out, but I was intrigued rather than disturbed by it.”

The pair only met for the first time in person just before their wedding, and Amit said he was “scared” of what Piyali’s reaction would be.

“My family were worried that she would reject me when she saw me. I asked her how she was feeling when she saw me and she said just as she did on video call,” Amit recalled.

He said the wedding took place in a temple where multiple wedding services take place one after another and people were taking pictures of his face.

“There were people coming up to me and taking photographs of me and for me it’s about that education and talking about it, but it doesn’t mean you have to come up and start taking pictures.”

Piyali says she is “proud” that she can support someone looking to make a difference.

“If I can keep him happy and motivated, I’ll be happy,” she said.

“Focus on how you can help someone on their journey.”

Despite finding love, Amit has encountered other issues due to his condition.

Looking for some extra cash to fund his wedding, he decided to sign up as a Deliveroo rider.

However, after filling in his details, the AI software failed to recognise him and rejected his application, leaving him “disheartened”

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the experience this rider had verifying his identity.

“As soon as this was brought to our attention, we reviewed what had happened and put an approach in place to resolve the issue.

“Onfido and Deliveroo are committed to ensuring all riders feel supported at all times when working with Deliveroo, and we are evolving our authentication technology to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Amit is hoping to raise awareness around facial equality – you can find out more here.

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