There was a time when mujra was appreciated in Gulf countries. But things are different now. Says Mina Singh, a former dance girl, “Now they force the girls to do ‘dhanda’ (flesh trade). Earlier, they appreciated art. The gatherings were big and the money was good.”
Singh, who is also called Munni, says there are agents who take women to the Gulf for prostitution. “These girls are taken on three-month visas. They are paid quite a lot for it,” says Singh.
There is a regular of stream of girls headed for the Gulf — specially from Serai Mir, Phoolpur and Mubarakpur. The police are aware of it, but few want to talk about it.
“We can’t speak about it openly, but there are families in our village whose economic status had drastically improved after their girls went to the Gulf,” said an insurance agent, refusing to be named.
KP Tiwari, a police officer of the Kotwali circle in Azamgarh, said, “Of late, girls have been going to the Gulf for education. Sometimes people mislead them and we do hear cases of exploitation. Parents should be careful.”