By Karan Kapoor
Ludhiana, Jan.21 : Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), who recently attended the Punjabi NRI Sammelan 2008, have unanimously revealed that apart from participating in the event, their most cherished desire was to visit their ancestral villages.
Following the two-day Punjabi NRI Sammelan, a majority of them took time off to visit their respective villages.
One of the villages, Mullanpur near Ludhiana, had a VIP visitor. Arriving in a convoy, led by several security men, Dr. Ruby Dhalla, the Member of Parliament for Brampton in Canada, spent a considerable amount of time in her parental village.
Born and brought up in Manitoba, Dr. Dhalla made history in 2004 when she became the first South Asian woman to be elected to the Canadian Parliament. She was re-elected in 2006.
"Many Punjabi NRIs visit Punjab to marry Punjabi girls. Also, Punjabi families believe that the bride should go abroad, but they don't realise that in several instances, the NRI coming for a marriage here may have married several times. They persecute the girl after marriage." Dr. Bhalla said.
"I request that all families in Punjab that whenever an NRI comes for a marriage proposal a proper investigation should be made about the family and the boy. They should ensure that the girl goes to safe hands. And being a lady Member of Parliament my heart and interest has always been to help these women," she added.
Businessman Peter Sandhu and his wife Kamal Sandhu were also among the ones visiting their ancestral house in Manawa Village in State's Moga District.
Their arrival was turned into a celebration for the family. Sandhu migrated to Canada 27 years ago.
Having shown interest in Canada's political circle, Sandhu now wants better investment opportunities in Punjab.
Peter Sandhu, said: "NRIs want to spend a lot of money. But they want to feel comfortable. The environment should be more comfortable. If I am worried about my house that somebody will take it from us, I wouldn't like spending more. My concern is will be to invest only when it is safe."