In a noteworthy shift from the past, Punjabi parents are embracing an unconventional approach to financing their daughters’ education abroad. No longer restricted to selling land or properties, a novel trend has taken root. Families are now seeking potential grooms for their 18 or 19-year-old daughters, capitalizing on their study visas to support their academic ambitions overseas.
The spotlight on this unique trend is amplified by the active involvement of marriage bureaus, leveraging social media platforms to propagate their messages. Popping up on timelines are posts such as, “Study visa in hand, seeking groom for education package of Rs 25 lakh. Interested parties may inquire.” The parents are on the lookout for potential grooms who can share the financial responsibilities associated with their daughters’ education. The marriage bureaus have fully embraced this concept, broadcasting posts that echo the parents’ ambitions for a financially secure educational journey.
These comprehensive packages encompass not only the costs tied to the study visa but also cover expenses related to marriage ceremonies, legal formalities, travel, and sundry expenditures. Remarkably, these matrimonial posts even highlight strategies to safeguard the funds, which might include issuing checks or pledging family assets as collateral to the groom’s family.
Raminder Singh, the founder of a local marriage bureau, shines a light on this evolutionary trend. He notes that while the tradition of such arrangements was once conducted discreetly, often involving intermediaries such as immigration agents or IELTS center administrators who took their cut as commissions, the landscape has dramatically changed. Families are now openly collaborating with marriage bureaus to identify prospective partners capable of backing their daughters’ overseas education.
Singh unveils the current landscape, illustrating how matrimonial platforms are flooded with such posts. He explains, “The desire to secure avenues for children to settle abroad is burgeoning. Nearly 90 percent of the marriage profiles we receive revolve around finding compatible NRI matches.”
Yet, amidst this trend, there are voices of concern. Professor MP Singh, a resolute social activist from Jalandhar, staunchly opposes the practice, emphasizing the difficulties faced by students who embark on overseas education journeys. He voices apprehensions about the future prospects of these students, who often find themselves grappling with joblessness despite their educational pursuits abroad.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Khalsa Vox or its members.