Ronit Roy’s recent claims that television actors work under horrible work conditions, have found support from the TV fraternity. Roy, who has been working in the TV industry for 15 years, made the statement after actor Abir Goswami died of a heart attack last month, at the age of 37.
“I don’t know if Abir Goswami could have lived longer if he worked under better conditions. But we (the industry) certainly don’t guarantee even basic amenities, forget about luxuries for television actors. I am glad I’ve cut down on television. It would have surely taken a toll on my health,” said 47-year-old Roy. “We have to work almost non-stop for 14-16 hours in the most unhygienic conditions. I was once shooting for my serial, Adaalat, on a set erected right next to a garbage dump ... day and night,” he further said.
TV actors say that it is high time working conditions improved.” There is no doubt that the sets are unhygienic but you really can’t do much about it because we have to shoot, come what may,” says actor Hiten Tejwani. “Things need to improve. The lead actors can get their food from home, but what about the crew?” questions actor Aashka Goradia.
There have been instances of worms being found in the food on sets. So, yes, things need to improve. These shows are made on such a high budget, so why cut down budget on food on sets?
It is critical to sleep for 7.5 hrs daily, which actors miss out on. I’m doing a TV show and we don’t shoot for more than 12 hrs. I think it is a Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) rule not to shoot for more than 12 hours
TV is difficult and challenging because of time limits. However, you can’t compare it to film sets as there are budget constraints. Sometimes, the set is unclean and we have to tell people to clean it
The actors need to take the initiative to keep the sets clean as there is garbage being thrown around by workers. Some small time producers want to save money and hence provide low quality food
The food on the set is not good, therefore, most of the actors get food from home. The conditions have to improve and the responsibility of keeping the set hygienic should be assigned to a department
We will soon get a strict ruling regarding the working hours. Though right now it’s between 10-12 hrs, but no one follows it. So artists have to work extra hours , which affects their health adversely Rakhi Sawani(CINTAA member)
In Mumbai, where won’t you find a garbage dump? I have never really encountered unhygenic conditions on set. I shoot day and night and sometimes I get sick, but it’s a choice I have made
I think the working conditions on TV sets can certainly improve. As far as I am concerned, I even take water from home as I don’t want to take even a sip of water from the sets, even if they give mineral water