Indian-origin former Canadian parliamentarian Ruby Dhalla will open a campaign to help and support women victims of fraud marriages in Punjab.
The campaign, Dreams For You, is dedicated to building partnerships and relations with the victims, the Punjab government, local grass-roots community, business leaders, non-government organisations, and elected members. Its official launch in Punjab is next month, and it will focus on giving the victims vocational training, education, and legal aid.
"There is a growing trend among Indian women of getting married to NRI (non-resident Indian) men. Many of them become victims of fraud marriages and Punjab has a sizeable number of such women," said Dhalla, former member of the Canadian House of Commons.
Giving figures, Dhalla said even the government has been unable to address this issue, as the National Commission for Women (NCW) has disposed of only 30 of the 813 complaints, so far. "There is no database about the number of victims in the country. Many women have not even heard from husbands for years and are raising their children alone," said Dhalla, whose family hailed from Jalandhar, Punjab's emigration hub.
The campaign will also tell people about the things to look at while marrying off daughters to the NRIs. "Get all the information about the groom, such as his passport number, copy of the passport, date of birth and so on, as these are required while filing a first-information report (FIR) in case of fraud marriage. Sometimes, grooms only hand over a copy of the visa, which has no passport number or date of birth," she said.
The campaign will be extended to other states, later. Dhalla is also coming out with a fashion label consisting evening gowns, dresses, kurtas and kaftans, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the campaign against fraud marriages.