They Married for a Life Abroad. But They Never Saw Their Husbands Again.

Thousands of Indian women have been abandoned by men working overseas, leaving them trapped in their in-laws’ homes and often defrauded of dowry money.

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By Sameer Yasir

Reporting from Gurdaspur, Ludhiana and Mohali in the Indian state of Punjab

June 13, 2023, 5:01 a.m. ET

“Like many other women in the state of Punjab, long a hub of emigration from India, Sharndeep Kaur aspired to marry an Indian working abroad and follow him to a more prosperous life overseas.

On Jan. 13, 2014, she thought her dream had come true. That day in a Sikh temple, she married Harjinder Singh, who had just returned from Italy, and moved in with his family.

After a few days, though, her in-laws began demanding about $10,000 so her husband could resettle in Canada. When she failed to secure the money, they starved and beat her, according to a police complaint that did not result in any charges.

Eight weeks after the wedding, her husband went back to his dairy job in Italy. Ms. Kaur never saw him again. “The days turned into weeks and then months,” she said recently at her home in the village of Fateh Nangal. “And my eyes kept searching for him.” “