Mahila Congress demands marriage registration bill, audit of shelter homes

Sushmita Dev

New Delhi, Aug 28 : A delegation of All India Mahila Congress led by Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev on Tuesday met Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi and demanded a compulsory marriage registration bill to prevent desertion of Indian brides by the NRIs and regular audit of women shelter homes.

The delegation informed the Minister that over 30,000 legal cases of desertion of women married to NRIs are pending in Punjab alone. The delegation demanded that a compulsory marriage registration bill be introduced and a law be enacted so that these women get justice.

The delegation pointed out that the shelter homes are for the rehabilitation of women and were established so that women of difficult circumstances could lead a life of dignity.

The recent events reported from Muzaffarpur (Bihar) and Deoria (Uttar Pradesh) have necessitated a third-party audit of all such homes across the country and these reports be made public within the next six months, it underlined.

It said that CCTVs be installed in all shelter homes and the NGOs that are being allowed to run these homes and their backgrounds be thoroughly checked.

It said that the Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Scheme for Working Mothers introduced by the UPA in 2006 has now been renamed as National Crèche Scheme and has been restructured in a manner which is “clearly detrimental to the very idea of empowering and equipping women economically”.

“The existing funding pattern of Centre-State has been changed from 90:10 to 60:40. The Minister should inquire into the falling number of operational crèches and beneficiaries and ensure that there are adequate numbers of crèches across the country,” the delegation said.

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