Indians are, as a rule, obsessed with NRI grooms and brides. But taking this a step further is the ’42 Gaam Patidar Samaj’, where it is mandatory for a boy to be an NRI to be eligible for marriage. The pressure is such that the primary question they need to answer is if any of their relatives or he himself lives abroad.
And not surprisingly, if he does not live abroad or does not have a living member in the US, Canada, or the UK, then his chances of getting married are mostly nil. According to the elders of the Samaj, there are many unmarried boys in their community as they cannot make it abroad.
But the interesting twist in the tale is that the Samaj members pay ‘dowry’ to the girl who is settled or lives abroad. This means the boy’s family pays the charges incurred by the girl’s family to migrate her to a foreign country illegally or legally.
The Patidar community has a unique problem. For starters, they have a skewed sex ratio, and they are under pressure to marry into their community. This results in NRI men or boys seeking girls or women already in the US or Canada or the UK. Hence, they end up paying dowry, which can range between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 30 lakh. Want a bride in this Gujarati community then being an NRI is the only option.