NEW DELHI: The government will soon set up a committee to formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP) to be followed while dealing with cases of NRI men abandoning their wives, after the Women and Child Development Ministry received several such complaints.
Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and requested her to constitute a joint committee to develop an SOP.
Gandhi tweeted “Met EAM @SushmaSwaraj ji and discussed the issue of women in distress on account of NRI marriages. Have requested @SushmaSwaraj ji to set up a joint group to develop a standard operating procedure to tackle the problems of these women…”
“WCD will proactively work with Indian missions in foreign countries to resolve the situations that these women are in,” she said.
A senior WCD Ministry official said, “a joint committee with one Joint Secretary each from Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs and Women and Child Development Ministry will be constituted within this week. SOP will be developed within a month’s time.”
Once the SOP is prepared, it will be shared with various missions across the world, the official added. “We have received several such cases but we often found ourselves handicapped, even for as small a thing as serving summons to the perpetrator. So, we thought we will develop SOP so that Indian missions become proactively engaged in this issue. Once SOP is made, Indian missions will have the responsibility to more vigorously take up these cases.”
The two ministers discussed various problems faced by women married to NRI men like newly-weds being left behind in India by their husbands, husbands abandoning their wives in foreign countries or disappearing altogether.