COVID-19 aftermath: Bollywood daily wage workers cry for help

Shreya Mukherjee
·3-min read

COVID-19 aftermath: Bollywood daily wage workers cry for help
COVID-19 aftermath: Bollywood daily wage workers cry for help

22 Apr 2021: COVID-19 aftermath: Bollywood daily wage workers cry for help

The surge in coronavirus cases and the subsequent curfew declaration in Maharashtra has left one bunch of people helpless, the daily wage workers.

As the shooting schedules have been stalled, owing to guidelines, these workers are left with no engagement.

Since the past one year, the state of the junior actors, spotboys, lightmen, make-up artists and background dancers has gone from bad to worse.

Grave situation: They will have to leave if no support is given

Hundreds of junior artists and crew members work on films and soap operas on a daily payment basis in Mumbai.

Many of them had returned to their native places last year due to the pandemic and had come back by early-2021 when major productions started shooting again.

Now with COVID-19 wreaking havoc again, they'll have to go back if help is not provided soon.

Quote: 'Don't our lives matter?' ask junior artists

A junior actress spoke with a portal recently and highlighted that their landlords are not giving them any rent concession, either.

Kirat Kaur said, "We aren't earning a penny. The lockdown has rendered us broken...Our rents should be waived off till the restrictions are in place."

Adding how no one has given any financial or other help, she wondered, "Don't our lives matter?"

Appeal: Earlier, FWICE general secretary requested CM to financially help workers

Another factor to consider here is that many artists rebelled against their families to work in the entertainment industry, thus returning to their native places might not be a welcome move.

Earlier, Ashok Dubey, general secretary, Federation of Western Cine Employees (FWICE) had requested CM Uddhav Thackeray to financially help the workers.

Whether any action has been taken isn't yet known.

Changed plans: Producers were supposed to vaccinate daily wage earners on set

Now with the lockdown imposed, workers have lost their chance to get vaccinated by the producers.

As per BN Tiwari, president, FWICE, all production houses were obligated to vaccinate the crew members on sets.

The system was mandatory but now plans have been compromised. There is a possibility that vaccination will happen once workers return from outside locations.

Details: 'YRF has assured it will get its 2,000-3,000 workers vaccinated'

"YRF has assured it will get its 2,000-3,000 workers vaccinated. All of them have to do it. It comes under the medical insurance that they have it covered. But now as shoots have stopped, there has been no arrangement," said Tiwari.

Meanwhile, Sonu Sood has stated that the needy should be vaccinated for free.

"Important to put a cap on the pricing," he added.

Fact: Movie and television shoots have currently shifted bases

Given the situation, many producers have shifted their shooting locations. While Ekta Kapoor's shows have resorted to Goa, the shoot of Star Plus shows remain divided between Hyderabad and Bikaner. Arjun Kapoor and Tara Sutaria have also flown to Goa for Ek Villain Returns.