Models fail to make common front | india | Hindustan Times
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Models fail to make common front

It was a union that was never meant to be. Lack of time, resources and internal differences ensured a stillbirth for Models United, and already the fur is flying thick and fast.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2003 15:52 IST

It was a union that was never meant to be. Lack of time, resources and internal differences ensured a stillbirth for Models United, and already the fur is flying thick and fast.

"The need for an union was felt in order to safeguard the interests of models and give legal teeth to their fight against exploitation. But despite all the good intentions, things just didn't turn out right. From day one, some well-known models showed more interest in grabbing plum posts than addressing the issues at hand. Gradually the situation veered out of control and we had no option but to abandon the project altogether," says Christina (Tinu) Verghese.

The 24-year-old, along with fellow rampwalker Diandra Soares, were the chief architects of the proposed union that was to protect models against unwritten contractual agreements and unscrupulous coordinators who refused to give them their dues. According to some estimates, there were over twenty cases of non-payment and harassment in Delhi itself during the last year.

Verghese puts much of the onus for the union's untimely demise on senior models who wanted a share of the spoils without having to work for it. "Less-established models who are vulnerable to industry abuse, obviously took strong exception to attempts by senior members of the fraternity to hijack the movement. The differences reached a flashpoint and we could no longer hold them together", laments the 5'10" beauty.

According to Divya Jaitly, a Miss India competition finalist-turned-celebrity host, the models have no one to blame but themselves. "Had those involved with the union made a sincere effort to create awareness and explain its objectives better, the result could have been very different. It was a communication gap that killed the union", she says.