Sports Ministry approaches UK government to discuss visa for Sania Mirza's son

Though the Indian tennis star has been granted a visa to travel to Nottingham, her son and his caretaker have not received UK visas owing to the travel restrictions on Indian travellers.

Sania Mirza's UK tour starts with the Nottingham Open from June 6.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM

The Union Sports Ministry approached the UK Government, through the Ministry of External Affairs, to allow tennis star Sania Mirza’s two-year-old son to accompany her during the UK tour in June.

The Ministry sought permission to grant visa to Sania’s son as she is set to participate in a series of competitions in the UK, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Sania will be participating in the Nottingham Open from June 6 followed by the Birmingham Open on June 14, the Eastbourne Open on June 20 and finally playing in the Wimbledon Grand Slam from June 28.

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Though the Indian tennis star has been granted a visa to travel to Nottingham, her son and his caretaker have not received UK visas owing to the travel restrictions on Indian travellers.

Sania, who is part of the Sports Ministry's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), had approached the Ministry with the request. She explained why leaving a two-year-old child behind for a month was not a good idea.

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Speaking about the endeavour of the Ministry, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said, “we have 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,” the Sports Minister said.

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