are close to two million Keralites working abroad, mostly
in the Gulf, sending back as much as Rs 20,000 crore annually.
success stories have inspired many a Malayalee to seek fortunes
across the shores. However, there is a flipside to this success
Christal had a grand wedding four years ago but she has never
known married life. She spent only a month with her husband
Thomas before he left India for work.
then, she never heard from him until three months back, when
Thomas sent her a divorce notice. A shocked Christal doesn’t
know how to react.
been waiting for four years. Three months back, I received
a divorce notice. I want to know why does he want to divorce
me,” said Christal, Nurse.
are several marriages. They are facing a lot of problems.
The men say that they will call back in six months or a year.
They never do,” said Girija Vyas, Chairperson, National Commission
are over a million women in Kerala whose husbands are working
abroad. And now a workshop for NRI wives revealed that not
all of them feel deserted by their husbands.
George, a lawyer, has been married for more than 20 years
now. Her husband works in Dubai and they meet each other at
least twice or thrice a year. But Annamma does not want her
husband to come back very soon.
not want my husband to throw his job away and come back. Our
daughters have to finish their studies and get married. Once
all that is done, then we don’t need the Gulf job,” said Annamma
long separation also affects the men who often feel exploited
and unwanted in their own families.
feel that when they come back home they are unwanted guests
in their own homes. The wife feels that she has been managing
everything for 6-7 years. The husband coming back disturbs
their routine. It is also a psychological stress for men,”
said S Irudaya Rajan, Sociologist.
economy has always been referred to as a money-order economy,
which is fuelled by millions of Keralites who live abroad
and send remittances to their families on a regular basis.
that these NRI Malayalees and their families face have largely
been ignored. This two-day workshop on NRI wives in Thiruvananathapuram
is an attempt to understand these problems. -