Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Sikh Community Rallies Around Elderly Sikh Woman Facing Deportation in the UK

by Antariksh Singh

In a poignant display of solidarity, the West Midlands community has once again united in support of Gurmit Kaur, a 78-year-old Indian Sikh woman facing the threat of deportation from the United Kingdom. Kaur’s plight, which first garnered attention in 2019, has now evolved into a grassroots movement, “We Are All Gurmit Kaur,” as locals in Smethwick rally to prevent her expulsion.

Kaur arrived in the UK in 2009 and has called Smethwick home ever since, endearing herself to the community through her acts of kindness and dedication. An online petition, launched in July 2020, has garnered an impressive 65,000 signatures, a testament to the widespread backing Kaur has received.

According to the petition on Change.Org, Kaur, a widow with no family in the UK or Punjab, India, found solace in the local Sikh community. The community has embraced her as one of their own, emphasizing her generosity despite having little to give. Kaur spends most of her days volunteering at the local gurdwara, exemplifying her commitment to the community.

Despite her efforts to secure a stay in the UK, Kaur’s application has been rejected by the Home Office. The government agency contends that she still has connections in her home village in Punjab and could readjust to life there. However, Salman Mirza, an immigration adviser for the Brushstroke Community Project and initiator of the petition, contradicts this claim.

Mirza describes Kaur’s situation as torturous, emphasizing the dilapidated state of her home in Punjab and the challenges she would face, including finding heating, food, and resources in a village she hasn’t visited in 11 years. “It’s like water torture, it’s like a slow death,” he states.

In response to the growing support for Kaur, a Home Office spokesperson maintains that individual cases cannot be commented upon but assures that all applications are meticulously considered based on their merits and the evidence provided.

Gurmit Kaur’s journey in the UK began in 2009 when she traveled to attend a wedding, initially living with her son. However, her estrangement from her family led her to rely on the kindness of strangers, a reliance that has now evolved into a deep bond with the community that stands determined to keep her in the place she has called home for over a decade.

Antariksh Singh

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