How fraudulent agents trap Punjab women and sell them in Oman

(Representational photo)

Punjab, a land known for its rich heritage and resilient spirit, bears witness to the silent struggles of its women. Behind the vibrant façade lies a darker reality, where the plight of NRI abandoned brides and the deceitful practices of fraud travel agents have cast a shadow over the lives of countless women in the region. This article aims to shed light on these pressing issues, bringing attention to the challenges faced by women in Punjab.

NRI Abandoned Brides
In the pursuit of love and a better life, many young women from Punjab tie the knot with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). However, their dreams are often shattered when they become victims of abandonment.

NRI abandoned wives face a heart-wrenching reality as they step into foreign environments only to be abandoned and left to navigate unfamiliar territories on their own. These women often find themselves divorced without their knowledge or consent; thrown into a legal system they have no understanding of.

Shockingly, some husbands are discovered to be already married or living with another woman. Tragically, some wives never even get the chance to join their husbands abroad. In these cases, men deceive their wives, promising to bring them overseas after receiving dowry payments, only to vanish, leaving these vulnerable women stranded and abandoned.

The plight of NRI abandoned wives highlights the urgent need for stronger legal protections and support systems to ensure justice and assistance for those who find themselves in these dire circumstances.

Unveiling a New Wave of Inhumane Activity
In the dark underbelly of Punjab, a new form of exploitation has emerged, leaving vulnerable women at the mercy of deceitful travel agents.

Rani (name changed), a woman from Kapurthala, embarked on a journey to Oman in search of a better future for her family. Little did she know that her aspirations would be crushed by the heart-wrenching reality of exploitation and abuse. Promised a job as a caretaker in a hospital with a monthly salary, she entrusted her fate to her maternal aunt (maami), who was involved in the deceitful scheme.

Upon arriving in Muscat on a tourist visa, Rani’s passport and phone were seized, and she was locked up in a room. Shockingly, she discovered that she was not alone in her misery, as 35 other women from Punjab were also held captive. Instead of the promised job, they were coerced into engaging in immoral activities, subjected to physical abuse, and kept hungry for days as a means of control. Rani’s refusal to comply with these demands led to brutal beatings.

Rani’s case is not an isolated incident but rather a distressing reflection of a widespread problem. The travel agents involved in these heinous activities exploit the vulnerability of poor and uneducated women and openly perpetrate their crimes without fear of consequences. These agents, in collusion with counterparts in Oman, deceive women with false promises, charging exorbitant fees and selling them to locals in Oman for profit.

The victims, lacking education and awareness, often remain unaware of the risks associated with such ventures. Trapped in a foreign land with no support or means to escape, these women suffer immense physical and emotional trauma. Many are forced to endure unimaginable hardships, their dreams shattered and their lives in ruins.

The distressing accounts of Rani and the countless women trapped in the Gulf shine a light on the urgent need for action against these fraudulent travel agents. The Punjab government must take swift and decisive measures to curb this exploitation, including launching awareness campaigns, strengthening regulations, and holding the culprits accountable. It is crucial to provide support and assistance to the victims, ensuring their safe return to their families and work towards their rehabilitation.

This pervasive issue demands not only government intervention but also a collective effort from society to protect and empower the women of Punjab. The anguish faced by women in Punjab, whether as NRI abandoned brides or victims of fraudulent travel agents, is an urgent call for action. It is imperative for society, government, and law enforcement agencies to address these issues and provide support and protection to the affected women. By fostering a culture of empowerment, awareness, and accountability, Punjab can pave the way for a future where women are not left to suffer in silence. Together, we must strive for a Punjab where women are respected, protected, and given the opportunities they rightfully deserve.

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