I'd always felt sympathy for the persecuted gay/transgendered third sex of India. Learning that they routinely use social extortion tarnished the Hijras for me.
If this practice is so common, why were there no Google hits on related topics?
Something between male and female, they are shunned by Indian society as unclean. Many make a rough living through prostitution or by crashing weddings, birthday parties and other festive occasions, threatening to disrupt the celebrations with vulgar behavior and to bring bad luck unless they are paid off.