Sikh Community In UK Town Fight Indian Woman’s Deportation

Gurmit Kaur's journey to the UK began in 2009 when she attended a wedding, initially residing with her son.

Team Parvasi – Inside

The story of an elderly Sikh woman from India, initially reported in 2019, continues to draw considerable community backing in the West Midlands of England as her advocates strive to prevent her deportation.

Gurmit Kaur, 78, arrived in the UK in 2009 and has called Smethwick her home ever since, according to an online petition that has garnered over 65,000 signatures since its launch in July 2020.

Lately, the rallying cry of “We Are All Gurmit Kaur” has echoed across various social media platforms, reflecting the ongoing solidarity of the local community in support of this widow.

The online petition on change.org states, “Gurmit Kaur has no family to turn to in the UK and no family to return to in Punjab. So the local Sikh community of Smethwick has adopted her.”

Despite applying to stay, Gurmit Kaur’s request was denied, even though she lacks family ties in Punjab, India. Described as a kind and generous woman, she spends most of her days volunteering at the local gurdwara, contributing what little she has.

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The UK Home Office contends that Ms. Kaur is in contact with people in her village in Punjab and asserts that she could readjust to life there.

Salman Mirza, an immigration advisor for the Brushstroke Community Project, initiated the petition and is actively involved in aiding Ms. Kaur through the visa appeals process. He described her situation to the BBC as torturous, emphasizing the challenges she would face returning to a village where she hasn’t been for 11 years.

“She has a derelict house in the village, with no roof, and will have to find heating, food, and resources in a village she hasn’t been to in 11 years. It’s like water torture, a slow death. She’s never had the right to work and provide for herself,” Mirza stated.

A spokesperson from the Home Office mentioned that, while they cannot comment on individual cases, all applications are meticulously evaluated based on their merits and the evidence provided.

Gurmit Kaur’s journey to the UK began in 2009 when she attended a wedding, initially residing with her son. Following estrangement from her family, she relied on the generosity of strangers and gained widespread support within the local community, where she actively volunteers for various charities.

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