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I wasn’t paid my dues which was in lakhs: Rubina Dilaik

Actor Rubina Dilaik talks about the misery of TV actors getting their paycheck only after 90 days of hard work, and the exploitation of being made to run around for their money

tv Updated: May 17, 2019 18:26 IST
Sangeeta Yadav
Sangeeta Yadav
Hindustan Times
Rubina Dilaik,Television,Paychecks
Actor Rubina Dilaik can be currently seen in TV show Shakti — Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki

Shooting for daily soaps is no cakewalk, for TV actors are often required to shoot for 16-18 hours in a day. But guess what’s even more surprising? Artists get their paychecks only after 90 days of hard work, and they end up struggling more for money or being dependent on their savings.

Actor Rubina Dilaik, who, too, had to go through the same, recalls how during her initial acting days, while she was overjoyed on getting her big break on TV with the show Choti Bahu, it came at the cost of financial compromises.

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“Well, this trend was set long before I got into the industry, and I had to comply because I was fresh off the boat. Later, with understanding of the work ethics and legal knowledge, I realised that almost 90% of the actors, including me, sign one-sided contracts, favouring the production house,” reveals the actor who is currently seen in the show Shakti — Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki.

When the actor tried making addendum to a few points in the contract, she either lost the show or was bluntly told by the makers that ‘we don’t change our rules for anyone and to work with us, you have to follow them’. The lack of choices led Rubina to give in to their terms.

Unhappy with this exploitation that still prevails, Rubina says, “Working for over 12 hours, 30 days a month and being paid after 90 days, and in many cases even more than that, isn’t only unethical but is against working laws.”

For the first TV show, the actor worked for close to 20 hours a day. “I even played double roles in harsh conditions, yet I wasn’t paid my dues for the last three months, which were in lakhs.”

And the real haggle started only after the show went off air. “For nine months, I pleaded for my money, went to the actors association for help, but no one cared or helped apart from [making] big fancy promises. I had to sell off my house and property because I couldn’t pay off my EMIs. After crying my heart out, the production house finally called me up for negotiation,” she narrates.

And when the negotiations finally started, the reasons given for the cut in her pay were bizarre, the actor shares. “They’d say things like, ‘We have uplinks on your name for the number of hours or you didn’t shoot because of torn sari blouse, you fell sick, you asked for a half day…’. This just added to my agony because there was no truth in all that.”

Not left with much choice, Rubina had to go by the exploitative rules. “[By the end of it], I was tormented and desperate, so I agreed to all of it and stepped out crestfallen with the negotiated amount. It led me to depression, but I took this as a learning experience and moved on with a renewed determination to never let anyone walk over my well-deserved and hard-earned money,” she says.

Author tweets @sangeeta_yadavv

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First Published: May 17, 2019 18:25 IST