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Plight of Indian Women: Victims of NRI marriages

Indian women are facing another kind of mental and physical trauma especially in the states of Punjab, Gujarat and Haryana where incidences of fraudulent NRI marriages is on the rise. Every month hundreds of cases are being reported in the media. The National Commission for Women (NCW) receives several complaints from desperate women abroad duped or duped by their NRI husbands. There are thousands of others languishing in their village home waiting for the call from America or Canada that never comes.NRI brides are forced to put up with lying,cheating,false promises, unreasonable dowry demands not to mention divorce, desertion and abduction of children. According to NCW there are nearly 15,000 women deserted by NRIs in Punjab alone. Gujarat with a substantial NRI population also has a large number of battered women in need of help. Women are especially vulnerable in the foreign country often without any financial support. They have no one to turn at the time of crisis.

The decision of ministry of Overseas Affairs to appoint volunteers in countries with a high density of NRIs and PIOs to carry out check of the grooms abroad has remained just on paper. With globalization the number of NRI-Indian marriages is on the rise. It is sometimes impossible for the bride's parents in India to verify the credentials of the NRI grooms. What is required some institutional mechanism of getting authentic information before these so called NRI marriages are finalized. Indian Missions should help out with the task in conjunction with local NGOs and even come to the rescue of victims of these fraudulent marriages. Police and law enforcing agencies in India need to be more sympathetic in dealing with them. FIR reporting should be made possible for the victims from the influential families. The government needs to bring in a comprehensive regulation to ensure that all the protection accorded by the law to Indian women with regard to marriage, divorce, maintainence, inheritance and custody of children should apply to victims of fraudulent NRI marriages.

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