London, February 26. Near the Heathrow Airport, underneath a motorway flyover dwells ‘Little Punjab’, a squalid community of illegal immigrants, including Indians, who came here to fulfill their dreams but were reduced to a slum-life, according to a media report.
More than 30 of them, can often be found there, in full view of pedestrians and traffic on the road that passes under the bridge, M4, sending vibrations through to the ground underneath, and less than 20 yards from the nearest houses. They are known as the Bridge Men of Heston.
It’s a breathtaking snapshot of what happens when dreams of forging a better life in Britain turn sour.
A remarkable fact about many of those in “Little Punjab” have been here for nearly two years, without being compelled to leave, and relying mostly on charity and goodwill to stay, the Daily Mail reported.
The police, the UK Border Agency and local authorities have long been aware of the Bridge Men of Little Punjab, which takes its nickname from Southall, widely known as Britain’s Little India.
A community leader was quoted by the daily as saying that the UK government and Indian High Commission was “well aware of the problem”, but added that “Everyone seems to have gone to sleep. No one does anything about it. If they are here legally, help them. If they are not, then help them to get back.”
Although most Bridge Men are thought to be illegal immigrants, some are known to have come to Britain legally with visas which have since expired. (PTI)
Known as the Bridge Men of Heston, more than 30 illegal immigrants can often be found near the Heathrow Airport.
The police is long been aware of the Bridge Men of Little Punjab, which takes its nickname from Southall, widely known as Britain’s Little India.
One of them arrived in the UK over one decade ago as a teenager but lost his job and fell out with his family. Now his home is a sleeping bag.
Some find food at the gurdwara that provides meals for up to 1,000 needy people a day. Others simply wander the streets.