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A ray of hope for NRI brides

A scheme launched by the MOIA aids Indian women abandoned by their NRI husbands, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2007 11:41 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times

For the hundreds of Indian girls who marry NRIs, life often turns out for the worse, a government report tabled in the House revealed.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) has received 200 complaints so far, from Indian women who have been abandoned by their NRI husbands. Considering that the ministry was constituted in May 2004, the figure is alarming. There were several cases where the woman was divorced within a few months of their marriage.

The only ray of hope for the victims has been a scheme that was launched by the ministry to look into their grievances. “The objective of the scheme is to provide some financial assistance to the women in distress, who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses, for obtaining counseling and legal services,” the ministry added.

The scheme involves Indian missions in the concerned countries to help the victims, whose names have been approved by the MOIA, hire legal aid organisations to fight their case. The applications for providing legal aid is examined by an official designated by the head of the mission.

The applications sent directly to the MOIA are examined by an internal committee, which then refers it to the mission.

The scheme provides a one-time financial aid of $ 1000 for the victims through Indian community organisations and NGOs active in the respective country where the woman resides, to meet the initial costs related to documentation and filing of the case.

Currently, the scheme is available for residents of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Gulf countries that have a “larger Indian population and large number of cases of desertion and divorce,” the ministry said.

First Published: Nov 23, 2007 00:47 IST