of fraudulent NRI marriages is on the rise, but the crime goes
largely unpunished. There are hundreds of cases being reported
in the media. The National Commission for Women (NCW) receives
a number of complaints on phone and through e-mail everyday,
from desperate women abroad duped or dumped by their NRI husbands.
are thousands of others languishing in their village home
waiting for the call from America or Canada that never comes.
Lying, cheating, false promises, unreasonable dowry demands
are just some of the things unfortunate NRI brides have to
put up with, not to mention divorce, desertion and abduction
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. When things
don’t work in a cross-country marriage, women are especially
in a foreign country, often without any financial support,
they have no one to turn to. The government needs to come
to their rescue. The decision of ministry of overseas affairs
to appoint volunteers in countries with a high density of
NRIs and PIOs to carry out a background check of prospective
grooms abroad has remained just on paper.
time the scheme was taken up in real earnest. With globalisation
the number of NRI-Indian marriages is on the rise. It is seldom
possible for brides’ parents in India to verify the credentials
of the NRI grooms. Dubious marriage bureaus make things worse.
is need for some institutional mechanism of getting authentic
information before these long-distance marriages are finalised.
Indian missions abroad could help out with the task in conjunction
with local NGOs, and even come to the rescue of victims of
fraudulent NRI marriages.
that, the police and law enforcing agencies in India need
to be more sympathetic in dealing with them. In complaints
involving influential families it is difficult to get even
an FIR recorded.
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, maintenance, inheritance and
custody of children apply to victims of fraudulent NRI marriages.
The NCW’s draft document prepared sometime ago could serve
as the blueprint. From