Over 2,000 girls, mostly minors, have flown to the Gulf countries, particularly Dubai, in the last three days, presumably to provide entertainment and sex after the strict abstinence of the Ramzan month. Another 1,000 girls are scheduled to leave in the next couple of days. The girls say they have been hired to dance in bars in Dubai, but they could very well double up as prostitutes for well-paying clients.
The girls dance to the tunes of the operators once they reach Dubai because their passports are taken away to ensure the girls don't escape and are completely at the mercy of the operators. Sources in travels and tours admit there has been a significant rise of female passengers traveling economy class to New Delhi and Chennai in the past few days. The girls are carted off from Chennai and New Delhi airports because there are stringent checks at the Mumbai airport.
Agents who spot the girls at beauty parlors or shopping malls, interview them and get them to sign contracts if found willing. Most of the girls are aged sixteen and belong to the Bhedia tribe from Rajasthan, known for their Kalbelia dance. A few girls are from Central India and the rest are Mumbai bar girls.
An agent who admits he had been scouting for girls for the past five months says he makes around Rs 40,000 per girl if the deal goes through. He admitted that 70 per cent of the girls on the three-month contract are below 18 years and the papers are forged to show them as 21 years and above. According to him, "An average girl gets paid approximately Rs 1 lakh for a three month contract, while an experienced dancer gets around Rs 3 lakh for the same period." Experienced dancers also get 50 per cent of the tips. In Mumbai the girls would get only around Rs 10,000 a month, which explains why the girls flock to the Gulf on a three-month contract post Ramzan.
A senior police officer said the girls were traveling on a tourist visa and their stated purpose was to visit relatives in the Gulf. He also said all the minors were traveling on forged documents. "We know they are going for immoral purposes. We have been looking to see how we can check their exit," he added. DCP Brijesh Singh, "We cannot stop them if they are traveling on proper documents. But I am looking into the matter."
In the Gulf, dance bars are shut during Ramzan month of abstinence and austerity and all the girls working there are sent home. The exodus of girls to the Gulf begins post Ramzan.