Rajinikanth (Photo Credit: PTI)
As the film industry in all the states goes on lockdown as a preventive measure to keep coronavirus at bay, veteran Tamil actors Rajinikanth, Suriya, Sivakarthikeyan and Vijay Sethupathi have contributed a total sum of Rs 80 lakh towards the welfare of employees of Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) who were on a per-day payroll.
While veteran actor Rajinikanth has donated a sum of Rs 50 lakh, Sivakarthikeyan, Suriya, and Vijay Sethupathi contributed Rs 10 lakh each. Recently, FEFSI Union President RK Selvamani in a statement requested Tamil film fraternity to come out in support of the daily wage workers of the union with monetary contribution who went out of work as the shooting of Tamil films and TV shows were all suspended till March 31.
Considering that the outbreak of coronavirus has crippled the film world with stalling of projects, and nothing of such sort has earlier happened celebs should come forward and contribute. In the statement, Selvamani further said, "In the 50 years since the inception of the union, the film industry has faced various strikes; protests were held against the producers demanding pay rises and demands from the government. But nothing of this scale, the ongoing lock-down is very different.”
Film Employees Federation of South India is looking forward to raising a fund of minimum Rs 1 crore so that the 25,000 members of the 23 unions of different trades can be given rice bags
Actor Suriya along with his father Sivakumar and brother donated Rs. 10 lakh immediately after the announcement and soon his colleagues Sivakarthikeyan and Vijay Sethupathi to were inspired follow suit and contributed Rs 10 lakh each.
Actor-filmmaker R. Parthiepan and Manobala have also donated rice bags to FEFSI workers.
The shoot of several Tamil films like Vikram's Cobra, Simbu's Maanaady had to be stopped or rescheduled following the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, Producers Guild of India has also announced for a compensation or relief fund for the daily wage workers employed at the shoot, to ease the financial troubles they will face over the two-week-long shutdown of all kinds of shoots in film, TV or OTT platforms.
This announcement has been made on behalf of Siddharth Roy Kapur who is the President of the Producers Guild of India. “In light of the complete shutdown of all production-related activity for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there is bound to be a significant impact on the lives and livelihood of daily wage earners in the industry.” said the release
Announcing about the relief fund, the producer’s guild asked the entertainment fraternity to contribute to the fund to ensure the shutdown causes minimum disruption in the lives of these workers in these ‘difficult times.