Booklets provide guidance to women dumped by NRI spouses

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New Delhi: As part of efforts to help women deserted by their non-resident Indian (NRI) husbands, the government has brought out booklets and pamphlets on safeguards, legal remedies and whom to approach for redressal of grievances.

Besides the booklet “Marriages to Overseas Indians”, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has brought out a pamphlet titled “Thinking of the marriage of your daughter with an NRI?” to highlight precautions to be taken before entering into a marriage with an NRI man.

In addition, the National Commission for Women (NCW), the coordinating agency for dealing with the issues pertaining to NRI marriages, has brought out a pamphlet titled “Problems Relating to NRI Marriages – Dos and Don’ts”.

The pamphlet describes problems related to NRI marriages and suggests precautionary measures for Indian women considering marriage to an NRI or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). The NCW has also brought out a report on problems relating to NRI marriages, titled “The ‘Nowhere’ Brides”.

According to an official press release, a scheme was launched in 2007 to provide through the Indian missions legal or financial assistance to Indian women deserted or divorced overseas. The scheme was subsequently revised.

The release said the scheme would be available to Indian women who have been deserted by their overseas Indian or foreign husbands or were facing divorce proceedings in a foreign country, subject to the following conditions:

– The marriage of the woman has been solemnized in India or overseas with an overseas Indian or a foreigner

– The woman is deserted in India or overseas within fifteen years of the marriage; or

– Divorce proceedings are initiated within fifteen years of marriage by her overseas Indian or foreign husband; or

– An ex-parte divorce has been obtained by the overseas Indian or foreign husband within twenty years of marriage and a case for maintenance and alimony is to be filed by her.

The release said the scheme would not be available to a woman having a criminal case against her, provided that a criminal charge of parental child abduction shall not be a bar if the custody of the child has not yet been adjudicated upon.

It said that assistance will be limited to $3,000 per case in developed countries and $2,000 per case in developing countries and will be released to the empanelled legal counsel of the applicant or Indian community association or women’s organisation or concerned non-government organisation to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in preparatory work for filing the case.