Ludhiana, Nov.8 : Gone are the days when clubbing used to be a favourite pastime of the elite. For, the modern club culture of European society is steadily finding growing acceptance at different places in India, as a growing number of people seem drawn to cherish it.
In Ludhiana, the industrial town of Punjab, the booming club culture among women is providing a lucrative business opportunity to the hospitality and retail sector.
Ludhiana today has over 100 small and big women's clubs and each of the clubs have members anywhere from 50 to 2,500.
Many women here view the clubs as a platform to display their hidden talent. The clubs celebrate festive occasions like Holi, Diwali or Baisakh, with gaiety.
These women, generally come from well-off families, and enjoy sharing laughter and fun while participating in games and music.
Mona Sood, Chairperson of the Aastha Ladies Club, Ludhiana, said: "Our functions are associated with the festivals that fall almost every month in India. We make these festivals the theme of our celebrations and enjoy the occasion. We select summer and winter queens by organizing fashion parades. Also, we choose Queen of the Club" every year." The club culture has taken off in Ludhiana in the last few years.
Shammi Bindra, the Director of Shambra Ladies Club, said: "Ludhiana being an industrial hub has given an opportunity to women to spend additional money and enjoy their free time. Joining a club is the best way to fulfill these needs." Club culture in Ludhiana is proving to be an advantage for the hospitality sector as besides providing the party venue, the hotels also get large catering orders.
The business of over 20 medium and big hotels in Ludhiana depends on these celebrations. Each club spends between 5,000 to 50,000 dollars annually for organizing these parties.
Hotels hail the emergence of new culture, as it also provides them an opportunity to develop business contacts with the club members, who are mostly from business families.
Arun Jay, General Manager, Majestic Park Plaza hotel, said: "Ladies don't come to hotels only when they have their kitties. They come with their families and relatives. Whenever they are have a relative in the city , they prefer to put them in the hotel about which they know."
They dance, gossip and shop to add some spice to their lives. And to cash in on this opportunity, hotels in association with retailers hold sale-cum-exhibition of designer clothes, jewelry and other products for the club members. The Clubs claim that they serve as a meeting place for women where they can grow as persons. By Karan Kapoor