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

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Victoria in Canada’s top three cities for highest household debt

Rising interest rates could cause required payments to exceed budgets of highly indebted households

Facebook comment inspires donation of 2,000 lbs of oranges

Root Cellar gave fresh fruit to the Mustard Seed in Victoria

Missing Saanich dog may have been hit by multiple vehicles

Roscoe escaped from a house in the 4000 block of Carey Road, may be Panama Flats

VIDEO: Ballet Victoria’s take on the The Nutcracker tours Vancouver Island and the Mainland

Performances in Revelstoke, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and Victoria

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

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

‘Both things are true:’ Science, Indigenous wisdom seek common ground

Reconciliation between Canada and First Nations is playing out not only in legislatures and courtrooms but in labs across the country

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Vancouver Island fire chief pleads with Ottawa for traumatic stress support

Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty presented concerns to federal government

Blind Parksville man learns to trust new four-legged partner

Canadian National Institute for the Blind introduces first group of guide dogs

Most Read