UConn comes together for students’ dad in renal failure 


University of Connecticut students Emreen Bharara’s and Ashiespal Bharara’s father is in need of a kidney, and the UConn community is coming together to help.  

Their father, Gurvinder Singh Bharara, is 56 years old and, due to a nearly 20-year struggle with type II diabetes, is now in end-stage renal failure, according to Emreen’s change.org petition. He needs a kidney, and fast.  

Emreen and Ashiespal’s cousin, Gursimran Singh Bharara, is a medically declared match and is willing to donate his kidney, but he lives in India and can’t get to the U.S., and Gurvinder is too sick to travel, Emreen wrote in an Instagram post which has received more than 300 comments and 11,000 likes.  

“Gursimran has applied for a B2 Medical Emergency visa numerous times, but the requests have been denied repeatedly. The United States Consulate Office in New Delhi, India seems to believe that Gursimran will not return to India following his kidney donation even though he has extensive ties to his home country… Gursimran would promptly return home after recovering from the kidney transplant procedure,” Emreen’s change.org petition said. 

The petition aims to speed up the visa review process to bring Gursimran to the U.S. for an approved medical emergency, hoping to get the attention of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, the Department of State, the Embassy of India and anyone else who might be able to help.  

The petition has gotten over 7,000 signatures, and many have also sent emails to the U.S. Visa Service Desk.  

Furthermore, Huskies for Refugees and Huskies for Human Rights collaborated Wednesday night to host a letter-writing event at the Women’s Center. The letters will be sent to U.S. Embassy and Immigration Services “in support of visa approval to save Gurvinder’s life,” as stated in an Instagram post by Huskies for Refugees (@hruconn).

In addition, anyone with blood type A or O positive who is willing to get tested is encouraged to contact Emreen via her Instagram (@heyitsemreen)  or email her (emreenb@gmail.com) to see if their kidney would be a match. Anyone of other blood types who would like to help is still encouraged to consider getting tested for compatibility with others in need of a kidney. Any kidney donation gets those on the transplant list one step closer to a new kidney. More information can be found on the National Kidney Registry website, kidneyregistry.org.  

“My father is the most hardworking, genuine and selfless individual you will probably ever meet. His love is unconditional and the support he provides for not only my family, but our entire community is unmatched,” Emreen said in the Instagram post that started the campaign. “We need your help. My DMs are open, my account is not private—please spread the word.” 

Thumbnail photo of @hruconn Instagram.

Keely Greiner is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at keely.greiner@uconn.edu

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