The ministry of overseas Indian affairs has revised the existing scheme to provide financial assistance ranging from $2000 to $3000 to the deserted or divorced overseas Indian women for arranging legal assistance in their fight against NRI grooms.
A ministry official said that the assistance will be limited to $3000 and $2000 per case in developed and developing countries respectively. "The same will be released to the empanelled legal counsel of the applicant or Indian Community Association or Women's organisation or the NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in documentation and preparatory work for filing the case," he said.
The scheme would be available to Indian women who have been deserted by their overseas Indian or foreign husbands or are facing divorce proceedings in a foreign country, he added. The scheme would not be available to a woman having a criminal case decided 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.
The assistance is subject to the condition that the marriage of the woman has been solemnised in India or overseas with an overseas Indian or a foreigner, while the woman should have been deserted in India or overseas within fifteen years of the marriage.
The scheme mandated that the divorce proceedings should have been initiated within fifteen years of the marriage by her overseas Indian or foreign husband to make her entitled for assistance. "Besides, assistance will be made available in such cases, wherein, an ex-parte divorce has been obtained by the overseas Indian or foreign husband within 20 years of marriage and a case for maintenance and alimony is to be filed by her," he added.
Besides, the ministry has brought out a guidance booklet on Marriages to Overseas Indians which contains information on safeguards available to women deserted by their NRI spouses, legal remedies available, authorities that can be approached for redressal of grievances.
A pamphlet entitled 'Thinking of the marriage of your daughter with an NRI?' has also been brought out by the ministry highlighting the precautions to be taken before entering into marriage alliance.
Apart from this, National Commission for Women (NCW), the coordinating agency at the national level for dealing with the issues pertaining to NRI marriages has brought out a pamphlet titled 'Problems relating to NRI marriages-Dos and Don'ts'.
It describes the problems related to NRI marriages and suggests precautionary dos and don'ts for Indian women considering marriage to a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). NCW has also brought out a report on problems relating to NRI marriages, titled "The 'No where' Brides".