The president of Film and Television Producers Guild of India, Mukesh Bhatt, has applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency to curb black money. And while, Bhatt also declared that the industry won’t be affected by the decision, little did he know that it would hit his own people hard.
Junior artistes and character actors who work on payments made on daily basis are distraught by this move. Demonetisation — that has been effective since Wednesday — has put small time actors in a tight spot.
These actors earn anywhere between Rs4,000 and Rs7,000 a day, the cumulative of which is paid to them at the end of 90 days. What they really depend on, however, is a daily allowance of Rs300-500 that they get as their food and travel expenses. The absence of this allowance is a big problem for the actors.
Arun Verma, an actor on the sets of Crime Patrol, said that he hardly has any money left to reach the set. “I had a tough time reaching the set today as I am strapped for cash. I walked a few kilometers and then took the production vehicle. But now, I have no idea how I am going to get back home. Our contracts also clearly state that we will only be paid after 90 days so I have no idea how I am going to travel on Tuesday,” Verma said.
Thirty-year-old Avinash, who has worked on a few television shows said that since they have to report on set in the morning, they have no time to go to the bank. “I left early on Monday to go to the bank without realising that it was a bank holiday. I only have Rs70 left in my wallet and if I do not manage to go to a bank on Tuesday, I will be broke,” he said.
For Samar Jai Singh, 50, who has not been able to find work for the past few days, it is the common man who has been affected the worst by demonetization and not the hoarders of black money. “If struggling actors like us spend an entire day standing in a queue outside a bank, how will we go for auditions and meetings? People with crores of black money are not waiting in queues. It is only the common man who is affected. I don’t even have any money left to give to my college-going son,” said Singh.
Strap - Junior artistes who work on films and television soaps claim that demonetisation have adversely impacted them the most.
BOX (On delayed films)
30 Minutes, starring Hiten Paintal and Hrishitaa Bhatt in the lead roles, was scheduled for November 11, has now been postponed to December 9.
Saansein starring Rajniesh Duggal, Sonarika Bhadoria and Hiten Tejwani has postponed the release of the film from November 11.
Baadshaho starring Aajay Devgn which was supposed to commence shooting in Mumbai on November 22 is now pushed to December 1.