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    As Stalking Cases Rise, Women Bouncers Are Keeping Clubs Safe

    “WAS ALMOST KIDNAPPED ON A CHANDIGARH ROAD LAST NIGHT,” this is how Varnika Kundu, a freelance disc jockey, starts her Facebook post on her ordeal with her two stalkers. The words in all caps are a loud reminder of how unsafe women are in India. The stalkers “INCESSANTLY BULLIED” me, and “TRIED TO OPEN THE DOOR HANDLE,” she wrote in the post.

    The Chandigarh stalking incident has brought the pressing issue of women’s safety to the forefront once again. In July this year, a filmmaker was walking from Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village to Aurobindo Marg when she saw a group of men attempting to abduct a woman. In February, a 24-year-old woman was allegedly raped in Hauz Khas village area.

    Regardless of what time of day it is, women are stalked, chased and bullied by men on scooters, bikes, cars and what not. But no matter what happens, women are always questioned about their actions instead.

    Kundu, too, was blamed for the incident. “Why was she out at night?” politicians were quick to ask. Well, why not? Meet Mehrunissa, a female bouncer at a club in the Hauz Khas area, who believes in making her own rules. Mehrunissa works close to 10 hours every night, and she deals with all sorts of people.

    In her own words:

    If men can do it, why can’t I?

    Director: Vatsala Singh
    Multimedia Producer: Puneet Bhatia
    Cameraperson: Athar Rather
    Camera Assist.: Naman Shah

    The Quint in its latest series, The Hatke, follows the lives of people living in Delhi who are radically different from the rest. These are men and women who live on their own terms and stand out from the herd. The story of Mehrunnisa, a lady bouncer, is Part 1 of the series.

    (Love your mother tongue? This Independence Day, tell The Quint why and how you love your bhasha. You may even win a BOL t-shirt! Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL at bol@thequint.com or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)

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