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Sensitisation campaign for Indian women on overseas marriages

By Staff
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Chandigarh, Apr 19: Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) is planing to launch an extensive sensitisation and awareness campaign with a view to tackle with the problems of Indian women getting trapped into fraudulent marriages overseas.

With this concern, the Ministry is taking steps through a National Consultation on marriages with the objective of educating prospective brides and their families about the safeguards to be followed before entering into marriage with overseas Indians.

This was stated by Mr G Gurucharan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) while addressing the Media Interaction Series organised by Press Information Bureau, here yesterday. A booklet is also being prepared in English and five to six vernacular languages by MOIA for educating the people in Delhi as well as in other important states.

Giving details Mr Gurucharan said that as a follow up to the National Consultation, the MOIA has proposed to establish a 'Gender Cell' to advise the women. A Gender Advisory Group comprsing of eminent people in the MOIA, who can suggest steps to be taken by the Ministry regarding gender issues has also been proposed.

He said that the Ministry is also emphasising upon launching a sensitisation and awareness campaign in partnership with embassies abroad and states in the country for educating and sensitising the public. Law makers and the law implementation authorities are being involved in the campaign, he added.

Mr Gurucharan said that MOIA is working on the framework to establish a 'Diaspora Knowledge Network' to give a platform for dynamic exchange of knowledge between India and the Indians living overseas. This network will seek to transform ideas into well thought out projects in India and give impetus to projects in the public-private partnership mode across a wide spectrum of sectors, he said and added that the states will be important stake-holder in this endeavour.

He said that an Internship Programme for Diaspora Youth is also being run by the Ministry aiming at associating closely the younger generation of the Indian diaspora with their roots.

He further said that a scholarship scheme for diaspora children to make higher education accessible to the children of overseas Indians is being launched by the Ministry, which would provide 100 scholarships to Indian students each year starting from 2006-2007. Around 23 developing countries have been identified under the eligibility criteria of this scheme.

He said that the objective of this scheme is to target overseas Indian children living in countries where there are no extant educational facilities or have less opportunities for higher education.

Mr Gurucharan said that keeping in view the remittance facilities for the overeseas Indians, the MOIA has decided to launch a partnership with the UTI Bank to develop an integrated, universal, electronic remittance gateway that combines the virtues of economy, speed and convenience.

This portal will extend advisory services on investment, taxation and real estate to potential overseas investors, he added.

A Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojna, 2006 to provide broader coverage to the emigrant workers has also been started.

The Joint Secretary further informed that in response to a long and persistent demand for dual citizenship particularly for the diaspora and North America and developed countries, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already announced the grant of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) to all Persons of Indian Origin.

UNI

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