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Victims of Treachery

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Victims of Treachery


Apr 7, 2008

Ludhiana: The misery of abandoned wives has trickled down to their next generation. Earlier, there were 30,000 women in Punjab suffering from the treachery of their NRI husbands. Now, it is the turn of children born out of their wedlock to suffer for no fault of theirs.

Nearly 6,000 children of these abandoned women are living the same agony their mothers went through all these years. They lived through hell and grew up ruing the treatment meted out to their mothers.

A number of such children, accompanied their mothers, to the office of Lok Bhalai Party leader, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia on Saturday, where nearly 100 abandoned brides were narrating their tales of dejection. All women were crying inconsolably, regretting the life they were forced to give to their children.

They were brought up, making rounds of police stations and courts, with the law of land failing to help them. Despite having legally and socially approved fathers, their children were fatherless. And whenever they managed to talk to their respective fathers over phone, they got threats to their life if they demanded love, care and security.

''I never got a penny from my father. Neither his love. All I get to hear from him is that he will get me and my mother killed,'' said 14-year-old Harpreet Kaur of Jalandhar. She had seen her mother losing her youth waiting for her husband. Harpreet’s father moved to California when she was two-month-old, leaving them at the mercy of their relatives.

They said the slow system of justice had added insult to injury, as they had spent years in their fight, and had now grown-up kids, who stared into their faces.

Harpreet grew up seeing her mother crying in the middle of the night. ''Whenever I asked for papa, I was told he was in America. But I could never see his face. My friends' fathers would play with them, help them in studies. I had to depend on my maternal grandmother, who is bearing the burden of my education,'' said Harpreet.

Similar was the fate of Amandeep Kaur (15) of Garhshankar, whose mother, Surinder Kaur, was deserted by Holland-based Balwinder Singh only to live in a house meant for cattle. The mother-daughter duo spent all these years waiting for his call from Holland. But the call never came.

They only got news that he had got married to an Indian woman settled in Holland just to become a citizen. ''Now, I have learnt that my father has sent sponsorship to my uncle's daughter. He does not want his own children. Where should we go? '' asks Aman as she looks towards her malnutritioned mother.

The fate of Balwinder Kaur of Khadoor Sahib in Tarn Taran is no different from Surinder. She was deserted when she gave birth to three sons and now works as a domestic help to eke out a living. Her husband Baljeet Singh went to Lebanon, promising that he would take her, but had married another woman there.

Similar story was narrated by Renu of Jalandhar whose Singapore-based husband left her pregnant. Now she has a two-month-old son, who would grow up like other NRI-abandoned brides’ kids trying to belong somewhere.

Ramoowalia said there were 6,000 children in the state who were abandoned with their mothers by NRIs. ''These women and kids have nowhere to go. Who would come up for their welfare?''

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