Jasminder Bhandal

Frail woman, family members fear her deportation to India

Family speaks candidly about concerns if 83-year-old relative forced to return to home country

Cooking is too difficult for Surjit Bhandal and she is so frail, she needs help to stand up.

The 83-year-old former Langford resident, whose application for permanent residency here has been denied, suffers from insomnia and her life has become full of fear and anxiety, family members say.

“Before she used to wake up at 5 a.m and pray to God, but now she stays in bed until 10 a.m.,” said her nephew, Jasminder Bhandal.

The woman he has called his mother his whole life worries what might happen if she is forced to return to her native country.

“Jasminder is my son, I can’t live alone over in India. There is nowhere I can live. I can’t make my own food. I want to stay with my son,” Surjit said via translation.

Jasminder, who by blood is Surjit’s nephew, hopes she will be able to stay in Canada – the family has appealed the deportation ruling – and continue to live with him and his family.

Jasminder’s birth mother was disabled due to severe arthritis in her hands and feet. Surjit cared for he and his brother through their childhoods. Early on, Jasminder’s father gave Surjit – his sister – permission to adopt the boy.

While the verbal adoption is considered legal in India, Jasminder said, it is not deemed official in Canada, which is the main reason Citizenship and Immigration Canada has ruled to deport her.

The family, now living in Saanich, has taken out private health insurance for Surjit and plans to cover all her expenses if she is allowed to stay.

Jasminder hopes the appeal is granted on compassionate grounds.

“I feel very bad about this, they made an error,” he said of the ruling. “We don’t have anybody back in India to take care of her.”

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

In and out in 60 seconds, two suspects get away with $10,000 worth of jewelry after break-in at WestShore Gold and Silver

Langford business broken into just down the street from West Shore RCMP detachment

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

$1,500 bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician returns for second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Victoria career fair highlights opportunities in film industry

Reel Careers in Film and Media fair set for Dec. 7 at Camosun’s Interurban campus

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read