Kids Corner


Maharani Sahiba: Mover & Shaker

based on report by GAGANDEEP AHUJA


Preneet Kaur, India's Minister of State for External Affairs has created a precedent by sending almost a dozen officials to Italy and setting up special camps there to help Italy's migrants from the subcontinent - mostly Sikhs from Punjab - who need to have their immigration regularized by availing an amnesty scheme recently and temporarily instituted by Italy.

Reports have revealed that when Italy first announced the amnesty scheme to regularize illegal immigrants, the Indian mission washed its hands off by sending a SOS to Delhi that they didn't have enough staff to manage the papers of thousands of Indians seeking verification from the mission.

The illegal immigrants can get a right to stay in Italy provided they can get a verification done from their country about their nationality and for that the Indian Mission in Rome and consulate in Milan has to send the papers to the respective States to reconfirm their nationality.

Sources further said that under the amnesty scheme, the process usually takes two to three weeks and the Indian officials were non-committal. But streamed by urgent requests from Punjab, Preneet Kaur decided to settle the issue by taking firm and immediate action.

Even though Italy does not fall under her charge and consular issues too are handled by her counterpart, Shashi Tharoor, Minister Preneet Kaur called Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and asked her to find a way to addres the problem. When the bureaucrats argued that there was no precedent, Preneet told them that this would henceforth be the precedent.

A special team consisting of officials from different passport offices in Punjab has been deputed to the Indian Embassy in Rome and the Indian Consulate offices in Milan. They have been instructed to work 24 hours a day, including Saturdays and Sundays to issue duplicate passports to the non-resident Indians in Italy so that they can avail the facility under the amnesty scheme.

Preneet Kaur is indeed making her mark in the foreign office.

She is fondly known as 'Maharani Sahiba' in Patiala which she represents as its Member of Parliament (for the third time in a row). She is the wife of Amrinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala and former Chief Minister of Punjab.


[Courtesy: Punjab Newsline]

September 22, 2009

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder (Bangalore, India), September 22, 2009, 7:43 AM.

We love her. May she live long.

2: Jaswinder Singh Sidhu (Melbourne, Australia), September 22, 2009, 4:39 PM.

Well done! Maharaja ji and Maharani Sahiba always stood for right.

3: Ranjit Panesar (Canada), September 22, 2009, 7:06 PM.

If this news is true, then she has indeed taken a very bold step. I salute her.

4: Raj (Canada), September 22, 2009, 8:19 PM.

Finally some class in politicians from Punjab. By the way, I was in Italy and saw lots of Punjabi boys selling cheap stuff on side walks of Rome. Some of them were very sad and had stories of abuse by local authorities. They were arrested at will, released after bribes were paid. Sad images of young boys selling on side walks still haunts me. I don't know how our politicians can live with themselves knowing that they've created such adverse conditions for youth that they jump into the unknown. At least, this lady has given them some hope. Next, she should go to Paris and see how many boys are in a similar situation.

5: Karimul Fateh (India), September 22, 2009, 11:20 PM.

Commendable job. Now I can say that there is at least one politician who cares for the interest of common people.

6: Amitoj Singh (New York, U.S.A.), September 24, 2009, 9:18 PM.

Interesting that we all comment on a person without knowing the background. A member of the Congress party, Preneet Kaur is a member of the same party that was responsible for murdering Sikh youth all over the sub-continent. We must support people who get rid of all affiliations to such groups. But it is also interesting to note that she is the sister-in-law of the Sikh politician, Sardar Simranjit Singh Mann.

7: Harpreet Singh  (Jalandhar, Punjab), September 26, 2009, 12:29 AM.

If a politician has been working determinedly, we should appreciate him or her rather than dragging into controversies. Even though Indian politics has many political parties and only two or three have been dominating, one should choose one of the biggest ones to back. It is advisable to work for our people after entering into parliament rather than sitting outside. Well done, Mantri Sahiba ... Carry on! The people are with you.

8: Sumaer Sira (Patiala, Punjab), September 27, 2009, 8:28 AM.

Thanks, Gagandeep ji.

9: Raja Singh (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), October 31, 2009, 7:03 AM.

All power for people who do good work for the benefit of humanity. May she belong to any party, but the work done is indeed commendable.

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