Dance of death!

Sep 26, 2011, 07:02 IST | Sheetal Sukhija

As cops refuse to budge on blanket ban restricting women from working as bar dancers in the city, woman leading protest threatens to commit suicide outside police commissioner's office tomorrow

As cops refuse to budge on blanket ban restricting women from working as bar dancers in the city, woman leading protest threatens to commit suicide outside police commissioner's office tomorrow
Young women with a knack for dancing and singing venture into the city with dreams of making it big, but their dreams have hit a stone wall following the ban implemented by the city police to deter women from working at dance bars.

The women claim that they have been left no choice, but to solicit clients and sell their bodies to survive and they blame the police commissioner for their plight.

The whole community of these women has voiced their protest and after attempts to sort the matter out amicably failed miserably, one of the women is now threatening to commit suicide outside the police commissioner's office tomorrow.

Revealing much!
Meena (22), who used to work as a bar dancer made a shocking revelation to this reporter, claiming that almost 80 per cent of the community has taken to prostitution to survive.

Unperturbed by the women's earlier threats to commit mass suicide, as reported by MiD DAY in its July 28 edition, the city police are refusing to budge from their stance.

Meena, who is spearheading the protest, said last time that she and the other women would commit mass suicide if the commissioner did not do something about their predicament. This time she said that she is resigned to her fate and will go ahead with her threat, come what may.

With the strict blanket ban on dance bars in the city from operating live bands women dressed in revealing clothing and dancing for entertainment purposes the business has suffered severely.

However, a bigger concern now is that around 4,500 unemployed women have entered the flesh trade in the last two months.

"We are about 5,000 women who have unceremoniously lost our jobs following this ban. Almost 80 per cent of our community has contacted agents for employment out of frustration.

Around 80 per cent of the bargirls who have been left with no income
source following the ban imposed on dance bars in July, have strayed
into the flesh trade to survive in the city

We used to make about Rs 5,000 per month at the dance bar, but those who have now turned to prostitution are making that much in just one day.

It is a bad trend, but it seems like the rest of us are left with no other option but to follow suit," said Meena.

Turned away
Other bar girls, when contacted also had a similar tale to tell.

"I was thrown out of a company I recently approached for a job after I told the interviewer about my earlier experience.

I was just being honest, but then verbally abused me and threw me out," said another bar girl, who wished to remain unnamed.

Furthermore, 23-year-old Lakshmi, who worked at a prominent dance bar in the Brigade Road area, alleged harassment at the hands of the cops after she approached a local bookstore for a job.

"I approached a prominent bookstore on MG Road seeking a job, but they literally spat in my face and informed the cops about me.
The cops then kept visiting my home demanding a bribe or they said they would have me locked up. I did not complain since the commissioner himself is to blame for us being in this situation," Lakshmi alleged.

While 20 per cent of these women hail from in and around the city, the rest are from Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbai.

"My father sold me off to a broker who ensured that I would be suitably employed in the city. Now the broker is absconding and the best option available to me is to either beg on streets or sell my body. I currently make upto Rs 50,000 per month," said another bar girl on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, all the bar girls are planning to meet Commissioner of Police B G Jyothi Prakash Mirji tomorrow seeking a solution or will otherwise end their lives at his doorstep.
When MiD DAY tried to contact the commissioner, he was unavailable for comment.

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