Visa row puts brakes on Prinkle’s Wimbledon dream

  • Ashutosh Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2015 09:17 IST

Junior tennis player from city Prinkle Singh’s dream of playing in the Road to Wimbledon (RTW) national grass court tournament was left in tatters as she couldn’t get the UK visa.

Prinkle, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir and is a trainee of Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA), had applied for British visa on July 21 to attend the Road to Wimbledon finals scheduled to be held from August 10 to 15 in London. As she had to leave for Czech Republic on July 31 to participate in the U-14 World Junior Finals, AITA withdrew her passport assuring that they will get her visa from there only.

Accusing All India Tennis Association (AITA) of lax attitude, Prinkle’s father Mohinder Singh said the association was never serious about the whole issue.

“AITA sent her papers on July 18-19 only and she submitted her papers with the British Consulate in Chandigarh on July 21 and by routine procedure she was to get the visa after 10 working days. In between, Prinkle had to leave for Czech Republic on July 31 for the World Junior Finals. When AITA contacted the British High Commission in Delhi for a priority processing of the application, the association was told that her visa application can be processed at the earliest by August 6 only,” her father Mohinder Singh said.

Mohinder added that it was then that AITA decided to withdraw her passport so that she could make the trip to Czech Republic.

“We were given surety that AITA will get the visa issue resolved in Czech Republic. Prinkle left for the event on Friday and technically, the application for the visa should have been submitted on Monday (August 3), the first working day. But here too, the officials took their own sweet time to apply. Finally, her application was submitted on August 5 with AITA demanding a visa next day. The normal procedural time for visa is one-week, so, by the time the visa would have arrived, the event would have started,” Prinkle’s mother Baljeet Kaur added.

“All I can say is that it was due to late reaction from the AITA that my child has missed a golden opportunity,” her father added.

Prinkle, a student of Ashiana Public School, Sector 46, had dominated all on her way to qualify for this event.

Despite repeated attempts, AITA officials— secretary Bharat Oza and president Anil Khanna — didn’t respond to the calls and text messages.

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