A helping hand for homeless Indians in Southall
Yudhvir Rana, TNN | Jan 14, 2012, 05.13PM IST
AMRITSAR: Every year, several Sikhs travel from India to the UK both on travel as well as working visas. But there are several homeless Sikhs who have been languishing in Southall in West London.
United Sikh, Sikh NGO, has revealed the untold misery of Southall's homeless Indians who are unable to find jobs in the UK. Due to their immigration status, there are several Sikhs who want to come back to India.
Speaking to TOI, the director of United Sikh, Mejinderpal Kaur said: "Satbir Kaur (name changed) had gone to the UK from Amritsar on a visitor's visa and ended up overstaying, so that she could earn some money for her husband and son back home."
Later, she fell ill so couldn't work and her sister made her sleep in the toilets in her house as that was the only place available because there were 15 people sharing the house, she said.
She said Satbir was even beaten by her sister a couple of times. She informed that United Sikhs had arranged for her free air ticket through the UK Border Agency (UKBA) so she could go back to her home in Amritsar.
Informing about another Punjabi immigrant destitute on the streets of Southhall, Mejinderpal Kaur said that Shamsher Singh (name changed) was a homeless on the streets of Southall and would have ended up taking shelter under bridge with other homeless immigrants if they had not arranged for him ticket to Delhi. She informed that they had set up a 'Help Desk' for the immigrants at Park Avenue Gurdwara Sahib.
"Since the opening of 'Help Desk', we have helped hundreds of immigrants who who had ended up sleeping 'rough' as Southall's Asian homeless," said Community Service Director, United Sikhs, Harbans Kaur.
Programme officer Narpinder Kaur stated that every Gurdwara in the country should have 'Help Desk' to extend helping hand to immigrants. "We are looking for volunteers to run these desks throughout the country," she said. She informed that they had arranged air tickets through UKBA for about 50 immigrants voluntarily returning to India, who had been struggling to survive in the UK. "We have obtained air tickets for about another 40 waiting for their travel documents to return, she added.