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The Maharashtra government has ordered that all dance bars in the state be shut down since they are, it says, a cover for flesh trade.

The hard truth is that these bars also provide employment to a large number of people. In Mumbai alone, more then 70,000 women work as dancers and waitresses in these bars.

Most of those working in the dance bars claim they are doing the job to assist their families.

Rediff.com listened to some of the women and presents their story.

(The faces of the dancers are not shown in the following slides to protect their identity.)

Text: Vijay Singh Photographs: Arun Patil Design: Uday Kuckian

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