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Thousands back elderly Sikh widow’s deport halted from UK to India

More than 62,000 people have signed an online petition in support of an elderly Sikh widow’s right not to be forcefully sent back to India after more than 10 years of working and living in England.
Gurmit Kaur Sahota, 75, came to the United Kingdom in 2009 and Smethwick has been home to her since then.
Legally illegal migrants, the UK rules on visas and immigration mean that Sahota is supposed to return to India even though she has no family there, gaining widespread support from the Smethwick local group that has embraced the septuagenarians.
“Gurmit Kaur has no family to turn to in the United Kingdom and no family to return to Punjab, so the local Sikh community of Smethwick has adopted it. Gurmit applied to stay but was denied even though she had no family to move to Punjab, India,” reads the petition for Change.Org submitted to the UK Home Office and the UK Parliament.
“Gurmit is a very kind woman, even though she has nothing, she is always kind and will always give whatever she can, if she can. Much of her days are spent volunteering in the local gurdwara,” she says.
“In a local Black Lives rally, Gurmit gave fruit to the demonstrators in solidarity with the cause. Gurmit is an asset and a kind aunt to Smethwick. We want her to sit right here. Smethwick is home,” adds.
Speaking via a translator, Sahota said, ‘Birmingham Live,’ that if she were to go back to India, she would have nowhere to go and no home to go back to, since she has no family.
“I’m afraid of isolation and the effect on my mental health moving back there all by myself. Being here in Smethwick is my real home, it’s where I work to support the community, it’s where I give back, it’s where I know and love people who have become my family. People in the temple here have become my true family,” she said.
“This is the society I am part of and the place I have made my home. I have spent my life helping and giving to others and want to be able to continue to do this,” she added.
The Home Office was quoted as saying that it had communicated with Sahota recently explaining how she can apply to remain in the country legally.
(Inputs from PTI)

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