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Breaking The Gender Bias: Mehrunnisa Shaukat Ali, India’s First Woman Bouncer

Mehrunisha Shaukat Ali is from Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. She became the first female bouncer in India nearly two decades ago and is now running her own company called Mardani Bouncer And Dolphin Security Service Private Limited.

Mehrunnisa works at Social, a popular cafe in the Hauz Khas Village of Delhi and also provides security at personal events and to celebrities including Bollywood actors. She is an expert in breaking up bar fights and uncovering illegal drugs along with keeping an eye out for the safety of female customers.

Growing up in a large Muslim family in Saharanpur, Mehrunisha dreamt of joining the Army or becoming a police officer, but her deeply conservative father opposed the idea of educating her or letting her work.

Mehrunnisa, who always wanted to become a police officer, enrolled as an NCC cadet. She learnt karate and worked on her fitness, hoping to land a job with the police. She heard about an opening for a female bouncer in Delhi and applied for it.

It was difficult for her to explain to her family about her work as they also thought that being a bouncer is not what girls should be doing. Mehrunnisa would have been married off at the age of 12 but as fate would have it she got typhoid and was bedridden for a while. After her illness, she was determined to work towards improving her life's prospects.

For Mehrunnisa, becoming a bouncer is also a matter of respect. She says that she feels proud of what she does and encourages other women also to join the field. She is now running her own company called Mardani Bouncer And Dolphin Security Service Private Limited, along with two partners. Currently, over 2,500 girls and boys have been employed through her security service.

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