Recently in an interview, actor Ronit Roy said that television actors work under horrible conditions. His claims have gathered support from the TV fraternity. Ronit, 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,” says 47-year-old Ronit. “We have to work almost non-stop for 14 to 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,” he adds.
TV actors say that it’s high time and the working conditions should improve. 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.
Ronit Roy: “We have to work almost non-stop for 14 to 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.”
Aashka Goradia: “There have been instances when worms have been found in the food on sets. So things certainly need to improve. These shows are made on such a high budget, so why cut down budget on food on sets?”
Hiten Tejwani: “The food on the set is not good. So, 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.”
Mona Singh: “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.”
Samir Soni: “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.”
Anita Hassanandani: “It is critical to sleep for 7.5 hours daily, which actors miss out on. I’m doing a TV show and we don’t shoot for more than 12 hours. I think it is a Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) rule not to shoot for more than 12 hours.”
Rakhi Sawant: “We will soon get a strict ruling regarding the work hours. Though right now it’s between 10 to 12 hours, but no one follows it. So, artistes have to work for extra hours, which affects their health adversely.”
Sara Khan: “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.”
Hina Khan: “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.”