In response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on 22 December, “As per available information, there are about 2372 complaints from NRI women who have allegedly been abandoned by their spouses in the last 5 years. All the complaints have since been attended to.”
Muraleedharan was responding to a question by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha.
Earlier in 2018, the government told the Parliament that it received one distress call every eight hours from a married Indian woman living overseas asking for help.
How Govt Helps Abandoned NRI Wives
The government has taken a number of steps to implement various mechanisms to address the issues of abandonment, domestic violence, harassment and other matrimonial disputes faced by married NRI women, Muraleedharan said.
“The [external affairs] ministry and the missions/posts abroad provide appropriate counselling, guidance and information to the aggrieved Indian women about legal procedures and mechanisms in such cases.”V Muraleedharan, MoS (External Affairs)
“The Indian missions and posts conduct walk-in sessions and open house meetings for the distressed Indians including women to address their grievances. Online consular assistance is provided to distressed Indian women through MADAD, CPGRAMS and social media,” he told the Upper House, adding that the missions and posts also maintain a 24x7 Helpline for emergency situations.
The minister said that financial and legal assistance is provided under the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) to distressed NRI women. Besides, there are other mechanisms to help the women through women’s organisations, NGOs, Indian Associations.
In case of legal proceedings, there are processes in place for issuing summons under both civil and criminal cases which are normally regulated under reciprocal agreements, the minister said.
Legal summons in marital disputes are also served through this process, Muraleedharan added.