The Supreme Court directed the Maharashtra government on 26 November 2015, to act upon all the new dance bar license requests within the next two weeks. The apex court had earlier, on 15 October, stayed a law passed by the Maharashtra assembly banning dance bars. But it seems CM Devendra Fadnavis is adamant about finding out a way to retain the ban.
In 2005, there were approximately 1500 dance bars in India’s financial capital Mumbai, before the Maharashtra state government passed a law banning them all. At least 75000 women became jobless overnight and most of them were either forced into prostitution or felt that they had no choice but to give up their lives altogether.
Shabnam Raj shares her story of struggle for survival, given the government’s harsh stand on her only source of livelihood.