Sushma Swaraj extends helping hand to stranded UK couple
| Monday, September 19, 2016 - 10:20
Mumbai: Five days after offering help to a stranded British couple in Mumbai, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asked the UK government when they would issue the passport for their infant daughter of about five-months.
In the meantime, she assured that the Indian government would extend the visas of Chris Newman and his wife Michele, which are due to expire on October 7 as they ran from pillar to post for getting a passport for their daughter Lily.
"When will Britain give Lily a passport? We are prepared to extend parents' visa till then," Sushma said in a tweet on Sunday.
The development came four days after the Newmans' plight was first highlighted in the Indian media by reporters (September 14), about the Britons who are living in a small rented flat in Mumbai and fast running out of resources.
They faced hassles in taking their surrogate daughter Lily to the UK as her British passport was not yet ready.
Apparently moved by the plight of the Newmans of Epsom in Surrey, Sushma on September 14 gave a heart-warming tweet: "We will help (you) with extension for your visa. Pl(ease) give your details."
The problems were compounded by the fact that the Newmans' Indian visas would expire on October 7 - leaving them with the only option of keeping Lily in an orphanage till her passport was issued.
However, after the latest assurance tweeted by Sushma - to extend their visas till Britain issues Lily's passport - would prove to be a big relief for the Newmans, who are now in their 40s.