Lures of the dollar and a non-resident spouse are the same for Indians. In spite of government efforts to caution people about the pitfalls of marrying an Non-Resident Indian (NRI) through a nationwide media campaign, any opportunity to find an NRI groom or bride is too hard, for any girl or boy in the country, to resist.
Media reports said a 68-year old US-based Indian doctor, apparently, in response to his advertisement, received marriage proposals from around 152 Indian women of all age groups.
The doctor (his real name not revealed) had contacted a Gujarat-based marriage bureau which helps elderly people find life partners.
"68-year-old doctor residing in New York needs a bride who is willing to shift to the US. There is no age, caste or religion bar," the advertisement read, according to newspaper reports.
Since then, the bureau's office was flooded with proposals from wannabe Indian brides, for this NRI doctor. Unabashed and Amusingly, the list also included women as young as 21.
Natu Patel, founder of the marriage bureau, Vina Mulya Amulya Sewa in Vasna, believed his advertisement in a regional newspaper evinced such interest for this NRI groom, not because of the man, but the 'US tag' that he carried. In fact, one of the girls replied unabashedly that the reason she applied was because of "his U.S. citizen status."
The DNA Web site, listed the applicants age groupwise: 21 candidates in the 20-45 age group, 15 applicants in the age group of 35-50 and 15 from women above 50 years of age.
"We had expected around 25-30 responses that too from women aged above 45 or 50 years. But there is a mad rush to marry him. There are 152 women who are keen to marry him and shift to the US," the coordinator of the organisation was quoted in the Times of India.
"Dollar power gets elderly NRI doctor 152 wannabe brides," said the site's headline.
Among the applicants, a 35-year-old woman from Ahmedabad city in Gujarat was even ready to dump her husband if she is selected, reported the site. Moreover, there are women who are also ready for a live-in relationship with the doctor.
"Interestingly, candidates who are school dropouts are ready to stay with the old man even without marriage, or even as labourers," Patel was reported as saying.
Three candidates, around 45 years old, who are married and have children, said that their husbands were ready to divorce them enabling their wives to marry the U.S. candidate and settle abroad.
"It was quite an eye-opening experience for me," the DNA quoted Patel as saying.
This mad rush comes at a time of increasing cases of disputes in NRI marriages. In Jan 2007, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs issued a booklet titled, "Marriage to Overseas Indians - a Guidance Booklet." Alerting citizens, the booklet said such cases include abandonment, domestic violence, extra marital relationships, delay in visa and immigration, and ex-parte divorces.
Interesting, in Aug 2013, the Times of India carried an article saying marrying an NRI is no longer in vogue.
The applications received for the 68-year-old U.S.-based India doctor is definite proof that the allurement continues.
Apparently, the NRI doctor remained single, after the woman with whom he was in love, refused to move with him to the U.S. after marriage.
Meanwhile, the doctor was expected to visit in November to tie the knot.
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