The Indian television industry might be growing at a rapid speed and making big-budget shows, but basic safety measures on the sets are still not up to the mark.
The massive fire on the sets of Sanjay Khan’s historical show, Tipu Sultan, in 1990 should have been a glaring example for the industry to learn from.
Yet, here we are, expressing shock over the fire on the sets of stand-up comic, Kapil Sharma’s TV show, Comedy Nights With Kapil.
The disaster has shocked and upset many in the industry. But if you think these instances are few and far between, you are wrong. Similar accidents have happened in the past too.
The sets of Aamir Khan’s TV show Satyamev Jayate had also caught fire, before the show went on air last year; the set of Housewife Hai Sab Jaanti Hai too had burned to the ground. Once, actor Deepika Singh had a narrow escape on the sets of Diya Aur Baati Hum when it caught fire during a Diwali sequence. There were reports of a minor fire on the sets of Saas Bina Sasural, Pyar Mein Twist, Pavitra Rishta and MasterChef India, among others.
Apart from fire, freak accidents such as a light falling on an actor’s head, an actor getting electrocuted while shooting in water, to even wild animals entering the sets, have also occurred in the past.
As per the guidelines laid down by the Indian Film and Television Producers Council, all TV producers have to maintain certain safety measures like insurance for the set and the cast, and crew members, periodic checking of generators and ensuring there are adequate number of fire extinguishers on the sets, among others.
However, in most cases, actors’ contracts don’t carry the clause of insurance. Which means that in case of a disaster, the actors have to fend for themselves, without any recourse to compensation.
In the case of Kapil’s set, although it was insured, its charred remains will leave a disturbing picture in his memory.