‘IELTS Bridegrooms’ is the new buzzword in the Punjabi marriage market. Matrimonial ads increasingly carry detail of IELTS bands scored by prospective bride or groom. For many young men who want to settle abroad but do not clear the mandatory IELTS test to be able to go on their own, these ads are gateways to their dreams only through the women who need the money to fund their travel and visas.
These young men who venture out to look for a jugaad-bride who has scored the mandatory bands in IELTS exam and can take them abroad with them are now falling prey to women who are only looking for a fat pocket to go abroad as these women who are not wealthy enough to pay for themselves.
The expense of flying settle abroad is costing many of these bridegrooms their entire family savings as some of these young women change their minds soon after hopping on to the flights and visa and all other costs borne by their IELTS bridegrooms’ families.
Score seven bands in IELTS and get funded by your groom is the modus operandi of many young women who are leaving their grooms cheated of a greener future in a foreign land. A story of cheating we have all heard a lot but for more than 30,000 NRI bride women of Punjab for decades but now tables seem to have turned.
Chairperson, Punjab Women Commission, Manisha Gulati, said, “We have received few complaints of cheating by women who married men to take them abroad after marriage but the number is meager as compared to the 30,000 cases of frauds by NRI men in Punjab. Laws need to be implemented strictly to curb such crimes, which stem from sheer greed and are a blot in the name of humanity.”
“Contract marriages to go abroad is an old social problem in Punjab for which we need stringent laws to protect both men and women. Now women seem to have found this means for easy money. But if these are not stopped now the problem can go beyond control tomorrow.”
Delhi-based High Court lawyer Vinni Sharma said such cases of women cheating young men or even aged men are on the rise. There are agents involved as they take anything up to Rs 5 lakh from both sides.
Victims can always file for restitution of conjugal rights or call the Embassy for cheating but how can they complain of cheating that you married to go abroad, is where the problem lies.
The intelligent move by such men can be that they sponsor the women for which they get documents as proof and withdraw the same if she does not call them there. In countries like the USA and the UK, you can take the spouse with you but in Canada, the spouse has to come afterward and thus more cases of cheating are from there.
As per reports, the Ministry of External Affairs has received up to 3,000 complaints of cheating against such women from Punjab. Many of them “invest” in the women by way of lavish weddings and gifts sometimes even after selling their land. But are left high and dry as the women switch off their mobile phones once they land at the destination country.
In a 2019 case, Mandeep Singh filed a police complaint against his wife Kanwar Davinder Kaur and his father-in-law Jagseer Singh residents of village Nahianwala in Bathinda. The woman had allegedly used Mandeep to go abroad using his money and told him not to call her as she was with another man. The father of the accused also asked him not to call her as they had used him to send her abroad.
Parents wanting to send sons to help them settle easily abroad are increasingly falling prey to such women. Some even sell their land to fund the woman and pay for her course fee etc. but get cheated of their money in the process.