Canadian lawmaker calls on Punjab to check domestic violence

Jalandhar (Punjab), Jan 7: A Canadian lawmaker has asked the Punjab Government to introduce stringent laws to prevent the abuse of married women, as many cases of this nature are reported by those who migrate to Canada.

Ruby Dhalla, the Member of Parliament for Brampton, told a Non-resident Indian (NRI) seminar held here that laws needed to be strict to prevent fraud marriages.

“From Punjab, many girls go to Canada. They face lots of problems, including abuse and violence. So, I will request the Punjab Government to look into the issue of fraudulent marriages," Dhalla said.

Many Indians migrate to Canada annually, a majority of them from Punjab.

According to a 2005 United Nations Population Fund report, over two-thirds of the married women in India, in the age group of 15 and 49, are victims of domestic violence.

Such cases are also reported in countries where Indians often migrate.

The Punjab Government organised the seminar to generate awareness about the benefits of migration.

At least 200 delegates participated in the two-day conference held ahead of the sixth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, a three-day annual conference for Indian diaspora. The conference begins in New Delhi today.

The event is held annually, and coincides with January 9, the day Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, returned from South Africa in 1915.

Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal assured NRIs that his government would soon open a new ministry to channelise their investments.

“For the investment guidance, we will open an office, and for the first time, an NRI (Non-resident Indian) Ministry has been created. The NRI Ministry will be under my charge. One office will be opened in Chandigarh and the other in Jalandhar," Badal said.

Meanwhile, New Delhi has unveiled dual citizenship for Indian diaspora, which enables them to visit their country of origin more often, facilitated by an open visa, and make investments in lands and holdings, but falls short of granting them voting rights. (ANI)