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Manual on how to stay away from NRI knots

The Govt released a guidance booklet on the issue of marriages to oversees Indians in Capital, writes Naziya Alvi.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2006 02:21 IST

Marriage to an NRI may seem a gateway to heaven. But often it turns out to be a passage into living hell, cautions the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

On Saturday, the Ministry released a guidance booklet at a national consultation on the issue of marriages to oversees Indians in the capital.

The booklet suggests precautions and the remedies that can be taken by an individual facing a failed or fraudulent marriage to an NRI. It also gives contact details of all the officers dealing with the problem in Indian Embassies and various NGOs abroad.

Calling the guidance booklet the first step towards addressing the growing problem, the Ministry also proposes to constitute a gender cell to ensure gender sensitivity in policy matters and activities of the ministry in relation to overseas Indians.

It also plans to set up Overseas Indian Centre in regions with significant Indian population. To begin with five such centres would be located in the US, Gulf, Europe, Africa and in South East Asia. These Centres will extend legal, medical and social counseling to the victims.

The Ministry also plans to maintain a database of marital status of NRIs not only on the basis of their declared status but also after verification from various Indian associations in foreign countries.

Besides, it is also likely to take up a study of loopholes in the existing laws of foreign countries and explore the possibility of persuading the nations to suitably amend them.

“Apart from a huge number of complainants personally visiting the office, we receive over 40 to 50 overseas calls a week from harassed women and their parents. It is high time to generate awareness on the issue and establish helplines for victims,” said Girija Vyas, Chairperson, NCW.