The ministry of overseas Indian affairs will provide financial assistance ranging from $ 2,000 (about Rs 1 lakh) to $ 3,000 (Rs 1.5 lakh) to deserted or divorced Indian women for arranging legal assistance in their fight against NRI grooms abroad. A ministry official said on Tuesday the assistance would be limited to $3,000 and $2,000 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 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 said.
The scheme would, however, not be available to a woman having a criminal case decided against her (but a criminal charge of parental child abduction if the custody of the child has not yet been adjudicated upon will not bar aid).
The assistance is subject to the condition that the marriage of the woman has been solemnised in India or abroad with an overseas Indian or a foreigner while the woman is deserted in India or overseas within 15 years of the marriage.
“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 said.
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 who can be approached for redressal of grievances, etc.
A pamphlet called “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 marriage.
Apart from this, the National Commission for Women (NCW), the coordinating agency at the national level for issues pertaining to NRI marriages, has come out with a booklet titled “Problems relating to NRI marriages—Dos and Don’ts”.
The NCW has also brought out a report on problems relating to NRI marriages, titled “The ‘Nowhere’ Brides”.