Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 16
The National Commission of Women (NCW) orgainsed a seminar on NRI marriages at Punjab Natshala here today.
A large number of young girls were also present on the occasion.
Rekha Sharma, a member of the NCW, said most of the Punjabi parents, especially in rural areas, do not verify or check out the background of the NRI grooms before blindly getting their daughters married. “It is not only dangerous but also a moral crime to play with the future of these young girls, who later have nowhere to go,” she added.
“Parents consider their girls as a ladder to reach overseas and their desire is killing their future. Most of the NRI grooms marry girls, who are 18 or 20 years of age and belong to poor economic backgrounds. So, their education is compromised and they are clueless about their rights. The parents do not consider it important to verify the family background of the grooms. We have seen many cases in which the girls have been fighting court cases just to get their marriage recognised for the past 8 to 10 years,” said Parmjit Kaur Landran, Chairperson, Punjab State Commission for Women.
The commission was working in collaboration with legal aides and NGO’s to educate the girls and their families about their rights, she added.
“By the law, you can get free legal aid while fighting your case and the NRI wing of the police functioning in Punjab can also bring the groom back to India, if proven guilty. The key is awareness and sensitising the law agencies to the issue,’ said Daljit Kaur, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High court.
Long road to justice
“I have been fighting to get justice for 19 years and I will not stop until I get the person, who played with my life, back and taken to task,” shared an abandoned NRI bride (name undisclosed) from Kapurthala.
Her groom, who is in Germany, left her days after their marriage and never came back.
She says the girls, who have been victims of sham marriages, should stand up for their rights and not feel ashamed.
“If we know that the law is with us, we could make our case stronger,” she added.
Landran said in some cases, these NRI grooms marry 6-8 times before getting caught. “We have a case where a NRI girl from Spain married to a local guy, who ran away reaching after there. The girl has come to Punjab to fight her case,” she added. Surinder Lamba, IG, NRI wing, Punjab, present at the seminar, said, “Punjab reports a high number of such cases due to which it is the only state which has formed a separate NRI wing to register complaints.”
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