This all-female firm of bouncers is raising the bar in Pune
The first time 31-year-old Rekha Sutar donned the bouncer’s uniform, she felt very awkward. “I had never worn anything but salwar-kameez all my life,” says the Pune resident, who would step out of home in a gown over shirt and trousers to escape the curious gaze of neighbours. But that initial awkwardness soon gave way to confidence.
Sutar works for Swamini Lady Bouncers (SLB), started by an ex-beautician Amita Kadam two years ago. It began with five recruits and now employs 50 women bouncers who work in pubs and events across Pune. The work ranges from frisking female guests to turfing out anyone who misbehaves, and even helping out women who’ve imbibed too much.
Kadam explains how the venture got going: “My sister’s husband is a bouncer and I was in awe of him and his work. Though I hadn’t heard of women bouncers, I thought women who go to a bar won’t be comfortable with a male bouncer so I launched SLB.”
Kadam got a lot of support from her husband and mother-in-law, while her bouncer safety and travel. There have been no problems after that.”
These women can certainly look after themselves – and others. Kadam says the recruits are trained in self-defence, communication and management skills. “We are now providing lady bouncer services at about 20 events per month. We do not encourage violence but if anyone messes with the ladies, they know how to defend themselves,” she adds.
They have no time for workouts, unless you count ghar ka kaam. The female bounc- er’s day usually begins late afternoon or evening, before which she finishes off her household chores, including cooking dinner for the family. Many are doing other jobs during the day. “Some are working as domestic help, nurses, bus assistants, while others are college students,” says Kadam. Kalandi Suryavanshi, for instance, is a school bus attendant. Parents of girl students are happy to have a bouncer on the bus. “They are reassured about their daughters’ safety, especially in view of the several molestation cases involving bus drivers and conductors in the recent past,” explains Kadam.
The bouncers say the job has brought them respect and dignity. Sisters-in-law Shobha Kadnamushe and Sunanda Kumbhar work for SLB. “While providing security to other women, we are also able to afford a good education for our kids,” says Kumbhar. Bouncers employed by pubs are paid Rs 10,000-15,000 per month, while events fetch them Rs 8001,000 for an eight-hour schedule.
BAR NONE: Pune company began with five recruits and now employs 50 women bouncers