“Gurmit Kaur, aged 78, arrived in the UK in 2009, and Smethwick has been her home ever since, as highlighted in an online petition.

The saga of an elderly Indian Sikh woman, initially brought to attention in 2019, continues to elicit robust community support in England’s West Midlands, with advocates working tirelessly to avert her deportation. Gurmit Kaur, 78, set foot in the UK in 2009, and Smethwick has been her place of residence since, as outlined in an online petition that has amassed over 65,000 signatures since its launch in July 2020.

In a more recent turn of events, the hashtag “We Are All Gurmit Kaur” has gained traction across various social media platforms, emphasizing the sustained backing from the local community for this widowed individual.

“Gurmit Kaur, devoid of any family support in the UK and lacking familial ties in Punjab, has found solace in the local Sikh community of Smethwick,” as articulated in the petition on change.org.”

“Despite seeking permission to remain, Gurmit Kaur’s application has been rejected, placing her in a difficult predicament with no family to turn to in Punjab, India. Despite grappling with her own adversities, Gurmit embodies remarkable kindness, consistently displaying generosity even in the face of limited resources. She devotes the majority of her days to volunteering at the local gurdwara,” emphasized the petition.

The UK Home Office contends that Ms. Kaur stays in touch with individuals in her village in Punjab and could potentially reintegrate into life there.

Salman Mirza, an immigration advisor affiliated with the Brushstroke Community Project, who launched the petition and is actively guiding Ms. Kaur through the visa appeals process, conveyed to the BBC that her ongoing ordeal amounts to a form of torture.

Describing the situation, he stated, “She possesses a dilapidated house in the village, devoid of a roof, and now she must secure heating, food, and resources in a village she hasn’t visited in 11 years. It’s akin to water torture, a slow demise. Throughout this time, she has never had the right to work and provide for herself.”

In response to these challenges, a spokesperson from the Home Office noted that, while they cannot comment on individual cases, “all applications are carefully considered on their individual merits and on the basis of the evidence provided.”

Gurmit Kaur initially traveled to the UK in 2009 to attend a wedding and initially resided with her son. Following estrangement from her family, she found solace in the kindness of strangers. In the local community, where she devotes her time to volunteering at local charities, she has garnered widespread support.

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