On the frontline: Giving support to the needy in Marathi film industry, others
As a business group, we are trying our level best to reach out and help people in need, says Punit BalanUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 16:36 IST
Businessman Punit Balan has been extending support to various needy sections of society, including people in the lowest rung in the Marathi film industry.
What exactly are you doing in this crisis?
As a business group, we are trying our level best to reach out and help people in need. We are distributing basic grocery to needy people, we have reached more than 15000 people so far and it is continuing non-stop, we are distributing essential things, like distributed masks and gloves to the frontline people like the police, doctors. We are also organising tests for the Metro Medical Foundation across the Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, covering all the police Chowkis. Then along with Marathi film director/ actor Praveen Tarde, we have set up a fund and paid them month’s salary for all the technical staff on the set of Mulshi Pattern, we have paid everyone their salary in their account and also given them ration kits, besides donating Rs 5 lakh rupees to the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal, so that we can look after 250 people working behind the scenes on sets in all capacities. We also help police by providing them with water bottles to withstand the heat while they are on duty. We are also taken cognisance of the Tamasha artiste and are helping them financially and with the help of Sahayadri Hospital and the Mayor of Pune, we are aiming to reach as many people across the city and district as we can.
How does your day begin and roll out?
My day begins with exercise, I love to exercise and it is one thing that I do follow diligently. I exercise along with my wife Janhvi within the house. Once breakfast is done, I get down to making calls, video conferencing and then visit our distribution centre in Manikchand House, then look at whether our volunteers are maintaining social distance and everyone is taking care before venturing out to distribute.
What precautions are you taking?
COVID-19 is a communicable disease and I make sure not just I but my entire staff and volunteers use mask, handgloves, and we have enough sanitizers across all the offices, centres, cars as well as in home. It is compulsory to use them before going out or coming in to any of the premises. To follow a complete regime, I eat only home cooked food, mostly proteins and eat before 6.30 pm.
What is your view of the Covid-19 situation in Pune?
This is the first time that PMC is dealing with such a epidemic on this scale and I applaud them for their quick deicsions and trying to work with many groups and centres in a streamlined fashion. They will be loopholes but the management seems to be working well so far. It is after all teamwork on the frontline with doctors and police putting in all their efforts to control it.
What gaps do you see in health and relief work?
My fear is that people are simply not understanding the enormity of the epidemic and this can be seen with rising figures despite lockdown. With so many people coordinating, between centres, volunteers and administration, what is required is people’s participation and leaving aside religious sentiments and traditions for the time being to work together as a team.