Came across a truly revealing article and thought of sharing some excerpts from the same with you all. The article by Varsha Kale, the president, Bharatiya Bargirls Union, brings out the true picture on life of these girls… The idea behind the whole act of banning the dance bars is indeed very noble. But, is that helping anyone? Or is making matters worse for these people? What surprises me is the fact that govt only plans to (or rather has) ban the dance bars… There are no plans for rehabiliation of the 75,000 bar-girls! This, after snatching away their only source of livelihood!
What is interesting to note here, is that, a lot of these “bar-girls” do not even indulge in body-trade or prostitution. A whole lot of them work as waitresses, singers or dancers!
The girls are coming from all the states and hook and corner of country to Mumbai and all the districts of Maharashtra to Mumbai. Primarily, the number of women coming from Delhi, Agra, U.P., Bihar, Haryana, Bengal, and Rajsthan is greater. These girls come not only from lower economic strata but most of them belong to socially backward Muslims, O.B.C. and Dalit castes. They are mostly semi-literate or less educated.
Bar girls are divided into 3 categories.
A. Girls belonging to this category earn handsomely and their annual income ranges in several hundred thousands. They need no rehabilitation. However, they are less then half percent in the total.
B. Girls belonging to this category earn around two hundred thousand annually. They are roughly ten percent of the total. Though their earning appear sufficient, they have little savings due to heavy expenditure they have to incur in order to maintain themselves. Further they are sole earning members in the huge family and have large number of dependents. It will be difficult for them to survive for even two to three months without earning.
C. Rest of the huge majority of bargirls earn around 100 to 300 Rupees daily. However their real daily income after deducting daily expenses is less then 50 Rupees a day. They are like daily wage earners and they can feed themselves only if they work. They do not have permanent shelter. They do not have bank accounts and no source of credit.
Some information on the economic conditions of C-category bar-girls girls:
Contrary to what people believe, most these bar-girls are poor.
They get no salaries and their income is dependent on tips
The money earn through this apparently lucrative business, slips through many routes leaving little or nothing in their hands at the end.
They need to pay huge amounts of bribe to the police
The girls and women engaged in this profession fall into age group of 14 to 50 years.
Many of these girls remain in their own families while engaging in this profession. Some stay alone, while others live in a group of two to three girls. Some also stay in large groups of 15 to 20 girls together.
The fact that no-body wants to rehabilitate these women is despicable! They are considered as culprits and not victims! So, the ban on dance bars should not be without proper rehabilitation process.
Noble thought is indeed a boon in these cases… But, what we also need is strategic thinking!