The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has proposed that women who marry Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) should be issued a second passport, which will remain with the woman’s parents so that they can help her to return in case her first passport is snatched by an abusive husband. A copy of this second passport — which will be a “combined” document containing details of both the woman and her NRI husband, and will also serve as “proof” of their marriage — will be deposited with the Indian mission in the country where the woman goes to live, WCD Minister Krishna Tirath told The Indian Express. “Often women are dumped by their NRI husbands with their passports being taken away by them. They cannot even come back and the Indian missions abroad also cannot provide much help. Keeping this in view, we are proposing that women who marry NRIs should have two passports, so they can come back if they want to,” Tirath said. The second passport, the minister said, will allow “the parents to intervene and help their girl. A copy (of this passport) should remain with the Indian embassies abroad so that they have a record, and are able to help the women in need”. Once the missions get information about a woman in distress, “they will also be directed to keep an eye on these families”, Tirath added. Her Ministry is currently discussing the issuance of the second passport with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Tirath said. The Minister also asked the National Commission for Women (NCW) to draw up a comprehensive safety net for women who marry NRIs. Already, it is mandatory to register all marriages involving an NRI. In August 2009, the NCW opened an NRI cell to register complaints from Indian women in distress abroad. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has been involved with the project, and coordinating with Indian missions abroad. Sixty-eight complaints have so far been registered with the NRI cell, mostly from the US, UK and Canada. “Our view is that along with the dual passport, there should be a biometric system, so that there is a record of the husband’s fingerprints in case he flees after the wife makes a complaint,” said Girija Vyas, NCW chairperson. Recently, a law officer each has been appointed in the US and UK, so that cases can be fought abroad as well, added Vyas. The NCW will also coordinate with Indian NGOs aboard, and soon set up an advisory committee to coordinate with state governments as well as the judiciary and police.