NRI marriages are considered the most prestigious and coveted alliances in India. And in an attempt to not miss such an opportunity, the families hardly carry out even the basic background research that goes into arranged matchmaking. This results in several issues and concerns for the bride after marriage.
To address such issues and help Indian women abused/abandoned/cheated on by their foreign spouse (NRI/PIO), the NRI Cell was established in 2009.
The NRI Cell was established under the National Commission for Women. And works in conjunction with international organizations, NGOs, and consular services abroad.
Note: “NRI marriages” is a gender-neutral term. But it is mostly used to refer to the marriage between an Indian woman and an NRI or PIO.
Situations in Which the NRI Cell Can Help Distressed Women
Indian women who are facing any kind of trouble in their NRI marriages can contact the NRI cell for help. Some of the situations that the NRI cell can help you with include –
- If the Indian woman gets abandoned after marriage, i.e., not taken to the foreign country where the husband lives. (This situation can also include women who get pregnant on their honeymoons. But then the woman and the child (born later) are both abandoned in India.)
- In case the woman goes abroad with the husband but is ill-treated there. The ill-treatment could include malnourishment, abuse, and assault (of any kind), or confinement. And then the woman either flees back to India or is forcibly sent back.
- If the couple has children who are forcibly taken or abducted by the NRI spouse. Or if the husband did not let the woman bring their children back to India.
- If the woman or her family members were held hostage for ransom. Or pressurized for dowry in any other way. This could be both before and after marriage.
- If the Indian woman went to her spouse’s country of residence and was not received at the international airport.
- If the NRI husband lied to the woman or her family about any of the details to con her into marriage. This includes lies about the job, immigration status, earnings, property ownership, marital status, etc.
- If the NRI groom is already married to someone and treats the Indian woman as a house help while living with another partner.
- If the NRI spouse takes advantage of the lenient divorce laws in other countries. Thus, asking the Indian woman to return to India because they are no longer married. In such situations, women can also get assistance in getting maintenance, which the husband might refuse because they are already divorced.
- Sometimes even if women press criminal charges against their NRI husband, they are left helpless. This is because the NRI refuses to come to India and seeks refuge in a foreign country. The NRI Cell offers aid in such situations too.
- If the Indian woman is coaxed to travel abroad and get married there to limit the jurisdiction of Indian courts in the affair.
- If the Indian woman is facing false legal charges in foreign courts for abducting her own children. Or if she is struggling with legal battles in another country for child support and custody.
- Any other situation where the NRI woman has been deserted by her husband (in India or abroad).
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What Solutions/Aid Can the NRI Cell Offer?
The NRI Cell works with several legal and not-for-profit organizations in India and abroad. And can help Indian women troubled by their NRI marriages in several ways.
The Cell offers mediation or counseling to aid the resolution of conflict, if possible. If that is not possible, then the cell also works towards divorce settlement in India or abroad.
In case of a conflicted divorce, the Cell informs the aggrieved woman about her legal rights. And should she desire, the NRI Cell offers guidance for initiation of legal action.
In case of the woman being stranded abroad, the NRI Cells extends help through foreign NGOs or Indian Missions and Posts.
How To Contact the NRI Cell for Aid?
The procedure for getting aid and advice from the NRI Cell is as follows –
- You can contact the NRI cell via email (nricell-ncw[at]nic[dot]in) or by sending in a letter at their address.
The NRI Cell’s address is:
National Commission for women
Plot No. 21, Jasola Institutional Area
New Delhi -110 025
- After receiving the complaint, the Cell will send across a receipt stating the file number of the filed complaint for your reference.
- Then the complaint will be verified. And one or both the parties to the conflict might be contacted.
- After establishing the case’s validity, necessary and required help will be extended to the aggrieved woman.
Besides offering advice and guidance for specific cases, the Cell also works for awareness about NRI marriages. They publish brochures, do’s and don’ts, etc., that can guide women before and after marriage.
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