Today I want to convey a story to all of you with the hopes that this story goes out into the universe and a news channel or someone at the Canadian government pick up the story and help us out. This story is about my sister who is stuck in India; her only fault: she left Canada and married someone in India who she thought was the love of her life.
Lets go back 15 years. My family visited my mother’s hometown of Jammu in Northern India. There we met a family who asked for my sister’s hand in marriage. Maybe it was the Canadian status, maybe it was the thought that because we are Canadians, we are wealthy and naive. Either way, they showed their interest in my sister and convinced my parents into giving my sister’s hand to their only son. As my sister met their son and got to know him in the few months they were in India, she too started liking him. They hung out all the time and he, himself being from an overly wealthy family, showered her with gifts and high-class dining. What girl wouldn’t want to be dined and taken care of?
My sister left India after 5 months and when back in Toronto, she talked to him online and on the phone nearly everyday, for endless hours at a time. He would even send gifts to our family home for her and call on every occasion (family birthday’s, New Years, Diwali, Christmas, you name it). My family fell for his charm as well and were convinced that he was a perfect match for my sister. So, every few years my sister and mother would go back to India to meet him. After 10 years of being online and on the phone in a long-distance relationship, both families decided it was time for the two to get married. Six years ago, during the wedding preparations, his family asked for a dowry; that should have been the first sign of something being wrong. But many families in India still ask for a dowry, so my parents didn’t think much of it. They asked for a brand-new Honda City and 5 lakhs rupees ($10,000) as part of the dowry. They asked that my parents give the whole wedding family (40+ guests) gold jewelry. My parents agreed to their demands not thinking much of it and my sister married a man she thought was the love of her life. Little did she know, he was the devil and was going to make her life hell.
Her husband and her went on an amazing 6-city cruise to Indonesia, where she conceived my nephew. His family was thrilled and treated her like a queen. But 6 months into the pregnancy, her father-in-law consulted a priest (pundit), who stated that she would give birth to a girl and not the boy his family was hoping to get. That one conversation with that pundit changed my sister’s life forever. Her husband and his family completely changed. They beat her, made her cook and clean the whole house and even tried to poison her milk. But she caught them and fought them to try to save her and her baby’s life. They beat her more and in her seventh month, pushed her down the stairs.
She finally had enough and sent pictures of her bruises to my parents. My mother was distraught and immediately left for India. She picked up my sister from Jammu and brought her back to Canada. Being seven months pregnant, my sister was extremely weak and mentally tortured. But she managed to give birth to beautiful baby boy. But within hours of the delivery, her and her son became ill. My sister had hemorrhaging and needed 3 blood transfusions. Thank God, they both survived and are healthy as can be. 3 months after giving birth to her son, her in-laws found out she had given birth to a boy and not a girl. They completely changed. They called her every day and begged her to come home. They begged my parents to send her home. They even sent airline tickets for her and her son to come back home. After 2-3 months of them begging, she gave in thinking that they might have actually changed and returned to India with her son and mother.
At first his family was acting as if nothing had happened. They held a huge party at their home and showered my sister with love and gifts. My mother returned to our hometown of Delhi, leaving my sister and her son with her in-laws and husband thinking that everything is now better. However, within a month’s time, my sister called my mother crying begging her to come get her because her in-laws were trying to poison her and her husband had started beating her again. When my mother went back to Jammu, she saw that my sister had bruises all over body and was very weak. They had tortured her again and denied her from holding or caring for her own son. They told my mother that my sister was mentally ill and should be admitted to the local mental hospital. When my mother tried to take my sister and son away from their house, my brother-in-law slapped, punched and then pushed my mother to the ground; where she hit her head and became unconscious. They dragged my sister and my mother’s unconscious body out of the house and left them on the gates of their property.
After my mother gained consciousness, her and my sister went to a nearby relatives house, who called the police and tried helping them. But the police didn’t help her and told her to leave the matter alone and just return back to Canada without her son as her in-laws are very wealthy and she wouldn’t be able to win the fight to get her son back. But my sister didn’t give up. She said in Jammu at a rental home and tried to meet her son. She tried to be nice to her husband and convince him into letting her meet him. But after 2 years of being in a rental house without any income, my parent’s weren’t able to support her financially as much, so she moved to our family home in Delhi. She got a job working in a call-center and saved up money every month to go to Jammu to visit her son. But her husband wouldn’t allow it.
Finally, after 8 months of not being able to meet her son, she had convinced her husband to allow her to come to Jammu and meet him. She took the train to Jammu and was greeted by her husband and son at the railway station. He took her out for lunch and then dropped her off at our relative’s home nearby. She asked him if she could take her son to the temple first thing the next morning for prayers and he agreed to drop off her son the next day. When the next day came and she had finally had her son with her, she escaped Jammu via train and went to Ludhiana, Punjab to stay at my mother’s cousin’s home. She thought she was finally safe, but her husband’s relatives saw her in Ludhiana with her son and immediately notified him. Her husband then called our aunt’s house and threatened her and her family, that if they didn’t send my sister back to Jammu with her son, he would get my aunt’s daughter raped and/or have everyone in their family killed. Fearing for their own lives, my aunt asked my sister to go to Delhi and try to come back to Canada from there as it was too risky for her family.
When my sister got to Delhi, she immediately went to the Canadian Embassy and told them the situation and asked them for help. She feared for her life and needed government protection. However, the Canadian Embassy told her that because she was on Indian soil, she would have to go through the court system and gain 100% custody of her child before they could help her. She tried to renew her son’s passport as her husband had both her and her son’s passports. But the Canadian Embassy would not renew her son’s passport without her husband’s signature and verification; which obviously, was never going to be given.
So, now my sister is stuck in India with 5 and half year old son with no help from the Canadian Government or the Emergency Department of Foreign Affairs. Her husband being such a wealthy man has sent her court-orders from a judge in Jammu who he has probably bribed trying to state that she is illegally taking her son away from him.
I’ve contacted the local MP here in Scarborough, Honorable John McKay’s office and they are trying to get assistance from Passport Canada. However, it’s been over 3 days and I haven’t heard of any good news regarding any help anyone can give my sister. I’ve even contacted firstname.lastname@example.org, the email address for the Emergency Department for Distressed Canadians Abroad and they’ve told me the High Commission will contact my sister and off assistance, yet 2 days later, no one has contacted her.
My sister’s husband has sent his family to our family home in Delhi and they have threatened her that they will throw acid on her or get her killed or raped if she doesn’t give her son back. She’s been stuck inside our family home for nearly a week because she fears her life, yet the Canadian government has not helped her at all.
I am hoping someone will help me get my sister and nephew back to Canada before her husband gets his way. PLEASE FORWARD THIS BLOG POST AND REPOST IT SO WE CAN GAIN AWARENESS FOR MY SISTER AND HOPEFULLY SOMEONE WILL HELP US SAVE HER LIFE.
- The Dowry (wovensouls.org)
- Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property? (indianhomemaker.wordpress.com)
- ” Mistake of Being a Girl “ (prashasthbaliga27.wordpress.com)
- Morbid Intention (privyplace.wordpress.com)