Sankar Bannerjee is 78 years old. He was a community activist in India. He fled to the UK in 2004 after receiving death threats from Communist Party officials. Not knowing anything about claiming asylum, Sankar lived for several years in London. When he eventually found out about asylum, he made a claim, which was refused.
He was destitute and homeless on the streets of Manchester when he was referred to the Boaz Trust,. That is when I first met him, as I was then director of the trust. We found a room for him in one of our houses, and supported him in practical ways. Legal help enabled him to put in a fresh asylum claim. In 2012 he was given three years Discretionary Leave to Remain in the UK because of his age and poor health. This was renewed for a further three years in 2015.
In April this year Sankar will be eligible for Indefinite Leave, meaning he will be able to stay permanently, safe from danger and worry in his old age, but... in the meantime the UK government has massively increased the cost of indefinite leave, which is now £2,297 per person. Sankar, who is living on pension credits, has saved up a few hundred pounds, but has no means of finding that amount by April.
Sankar suffers, among other things, from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, heart and thyroid problems, meaning he is on 14 different medications.
He has not seen his wife, who is 64 years old, for nearly fourteen years.
Will you help him to gain indefinite leave, so he can begin the process of reunification with his wife, and live his final years in peace, security and comfort?
When we have enough funds, I will help Sankar to write the application for Indefinite Leave. We will get it checked by a law centre for free (saving £500-600 solicitor's fees for doing the application). Then, with the money Sankar has saved, we will send a cheque for £2,297 along with the application..
If there is any money left over, Sankar will be able to,put that towards the costs of reunification with his wife.
- Vanessa Betts
- Sheikh Hayat
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