Married to rich foreigners, then dumped forever

Published on Sep 15, 2004 04:38 PM IST

Subaida's life changed dramatically and forever when she was married off to an Iranian man who was then 60 -- 38 years older than her.

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PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service, Kozhikode (kerala)

Subaida's life changed dramatically and forever one fateful day in 1987 when she was married off to an Iranian man who was then 60 -- 38 years older than her.

It could have at least been a life of some material comfort but that was not to be either, as Subaida came back with her three children from Dubai eight years ago in the hope that she could go back one day. But there has been no word from her husband for the last three years.

And she isn't waiting any more.

After endless years of trying to make a life work with a man old enough to be her father and more, Subaida, now 35, has busied herself looking after her three daughters -- two in their teens and the youngest only eight.

She works hard to keep the family going by working as a tailor from her small house on Pallikandy beach at Kozhikode.

Subaida is determined that her story will not be repeated.

"No! Never will I allow any more women from here to be duped by men who have made it a habit to marry and then desert their wives and children whenever they feel like it," she said determinedly.

Unfortunately, despite Subaida's almost missionary zeal, her story is not an isolated one and is sickeningly familiar in this part of Kerala.

Reports indicate that about 900 young women in the area extending from Ponnani in Malappuram district to Kannur in north Kerala have been lured into marriage with rich men, mostly Arabs, and then abandoned with their children.

According to VP Suhra of the NGO NISA, most of the marriages have taken place 10 to 15 years ago.

"We have come across 16 cases in Kozhikode alone. We are hopeful that the National Commission for Women will take a serious look at the problem," she said.

Not all the cases are reported. The last reported case in Kozhikode took place five years ago when 18-year-old Rehna was forced into marriage to 60-year-old Yusuf from Dubai.

She, too, was dumped and has been left with no one to look after her. NISA organised a seminar on the issue last week where the National Commission for Women asked for details of the cases hoping to include it in their report to the centre.

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