Sports ministry approaches UK Govt to help Sania with son’s visa

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Sania Mirza

New Delhi– The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) has approached the UK Government, through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), to grant visa to the two-year-old son of tennis ace Sania Mirza as she competes in the United Kingdom (UK) ahead of this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Sania will compete in four tournaments in the UK, starting with the Nottingham Open (June 6), Birmingham Open (June 14), Eastbourne Open (June 20) and Wimbledon (June 28).

Though Sania has been granted visa to travel to Nottingham, her son and his caretaker have not received the visas owing to travel restrictions on Indians due to Covid-19.

Sania, who is a part of the ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), approached sports minister Kiren Rijiju’s office for help. In her plea, the six-time Grand Slam doubles title winner has stated that she cannot leave her child behind for more than a month.

The request has been taken up by the ministry and a letter sent to MEA, requesting them to take up the matter with the UK Government through the Indian Embassy in London.

Rijiju said: “We received this request for Sania a few days back, and I felt that it is important that as a mother Sania be allowed to take her two-year-old son along so that she can participate with a free mind without worrying for her child back home. I have approved the request and sports ministry officials have initiated the process with the MEA.

“The sports ministry’s effort has always been to provide every support to our athletes. We are hopeful that the UK Government will see merit in this case and allow the child to travel with Sania.” (IANS)

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