Producers’ guild creates relief fund for daily wage workers, everyone free to donate but no fixed inflow yet

Amid the coronavirus shutdown, the CEO of Film and Television Producers’ Guild of India (FTPG), Kulmeet Makkar, has said a relief fund will be set up for daily wage workers in the industry by Thursday.

Kulmeet told Mid Day in an interview, “It’s too early to say who will donate, but anyone is free to do so. We opened a bank account on Wednesday morning; by Thursday evening, it will be functional for people to send in their contributions directly. [To determine the parties that are in need of financial aid], we are evaluating each production that was on floors, making a list of the people employed for the respective productions, and finally, determining the number of days for which they will lose out on their payment.”

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Siddharth Roy Kapur, president of the Producers Guild of India had said in a statement on Wednesday: “In light of the complete shutdown of all production related 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 has decided to set up a relief fund to help support those most affected by the shutdown. We would encourage the entire fraternity to contribute to the fund, to ensure that we can do all we can to minimise the disruption in the lives of our valued colleagues and associates in this difficult time.”

Explaining how those affected will be identified and helped, Kulmeet further told the tabloid, “Hypothetically, let’s say Bhansali had a 60-day schedule, and the unit could work for only 15 days (before the shutdown). So, they will be compensated for the remaining 45 days of work because we don’t want people to feel the loss of livelihood. (Even though the shutdown is till March 31), we are preparing for an eventuality that could last anywhere between 15 to 60 days.”

Given the government advisory, most productions have been stalled up until at least March 31.

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