NRI brides queue up for passport as centres reopen

NRI brides queue up for passport as centres reopen

An applicant at the Passport Sewa Kendra in Jalandhar.

Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 26

As the Passport Sewa Kendras reopened today after a gap of nearly two months, newlywed women were among the first ones to turn up.

Donning red bangles, as many as 50 newlywed women were among the 241 applicants to put up their applications for getting a new passport at the local office. Having got married just prior to the lockdown, these young women had come from various parts of Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Phagwara and Moga.

Many say they have been waiting for the passport office to reopen so that they could at least get the passport before the embassies open and the flights resume. Most of these women are married to NRIs and are eager to join their husbands abroad.

Kulwant Kaur of Moga, who got married on March 1, travelled 45 km to apply for her passport. “My husband is based in Toronto. He was here till about a few weeks ago and left on a special flight. The Moga passport office has not opened yet. So I got an appointment here. I just hope that all my paper work is done by the time flights resume as I want to be with him at the earliest.”

Similarly, Navjot Kaur, who got married in February this year, travelled 20 km from Phagwara along with her sister-in-law, who too was sporting a “red churra”. Navjot said: “My husband Jasvir Singh and his brother are based in Portugal. They run a shop there. They were here ahead of the lockdown and both got married. They too are stuck here and are helping us get our paper work completed.”

Regional Passport Officer Raj Kumar Bali said he noted that many applicants on the first day were newlywed women. He said, “We have opened only one of the two kendras in Jalandhar. We want to see how people are responding to the situation. In normal days, we have a slot for 700 applicants at one kendra. But as per the government instructions, we gave only 350 appointments and called only 50 per cent staff.”

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