Coronavirus: Producers Guild of India sets up relief fund for workers affected by production halt

Mumbai, Mar 17 (PTI) Producers Guild of India (GUILD) on Tuesday announced that they have set up a relief fund for daily wage earners impacted by the shutdown of film, television and web productions amid coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Siddharth Roy Kapur, president of the GUILD, urged the members of the film fraternity to contribute to the fund to 'minimize the disruption in the lives of our valued colleagues'. 'In the light of the complete shutdown of all production relation activity for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is bound to be a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of daily wage earners in the industry.

'The Producers Guild of India has decided to set up a Relief Fund to help support those affected by the shutdown. We would encourage the entire fraternity to contribute to the fund to minimize the disruption in the lives of our valued colleagues and associates in this difficult time,' Kapur said in a statement.

The decision comes after many from the film industry, including filmmakers Sudhir Mishra, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap, had raised concerns over the impact of shutdown on the daily wage workers.

Various film bodies in India including Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE), Indian Film & Television Directors' Association (IFTDA) and GUILD on Sunday decided to put all productions on hold from March 19 to March 31 to control the spread of the deadly virus.

Mishra had first raised the issue on Twitter.

'We all are interconnected. We thought of doing something, we will look after those who have worked with us. We have informed our head of departments. We are there to help. Anubhav Sinha, Vikramaditya Motwane have informed their own people. I am sure Rohit Shetty will be helping his own people. We can survive for six months but the daily wage workers are going to suffer a lot. We all should help each other,' the director told PTI.

Sinha had suggested that managing a large fund would be 'complex' but filmmaker should look after their crew.

'Let’s communicate to our daily wage workers through respective HoDs from our previous films to reach out to us if they are in need. I feel if each one of us looked after our workers from our previous films they will all be covered...,' he tweeted.

Motwane had welcomed the move, tweeting, 'Daily wage workers are going to have a really hard time, especially if this carries on beyond the end of the month.' PTI SHD JUR SHD BK BK