This all-fe­male firm of bounc­ers is rais­ing the bar in Pune

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

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.

Ashish Shankar

BAR NONE: Pune com­pany be­gan with five re­cruits and now em­ploys 50 women bounc­ers

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