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Hyderabad: Tough times for junior artistes, technicians
Filmy troubles get real for the workers in Tollywood
While there are close to 20,000 dependents on daily wages in the Telugu film industry only about 200 odd people are finding work. Even those working for years are unable to pull through the hard times
Hyderabad: No matter what you wish for or how ready you are to work and prove your mettle, sometimes things won't be in your control. Driving this bitter message home, the current situation because of corona pandemic has created void in the dreams of junior artistes and technicians of the film industry.
Though, the Telangana government has given green signal for film shoots, hey days aren't visible for most of the junior artistes and technicians. While there are close to 20,000 dependents on daily wages in the Telugu film industry only about 200 odd people are finding work, which accounts for just one per cent. The remaining 99 per cent are lost in thoughts and are waiting for shoots to begun in large scale.
Sound men, light men, spot boys and others are trying hard to find their ends meet. Shaik Osman of the Telugu Film Industry Employees Federation says that there are around 6 to 7 serial shoots that have resumed, and movie shoots are not happening. "Requirement of artistes, especially junior artistes in serials is far less than usual times. Even those getting work aren't happy with the wages. Junior artist used to earn a minimum of Rs 750 per day and the price varies depending on the budget of the film or serial. But now it's around Rs 500 per day. Many artists I know have moved to their respective hometowns because of lack of work here. They are slowly turning into delivery agents or cab drivers," adds Osman.
An air of disappointment is seen in Krishna Nagar where a good number of junior artistes live. Not so long ago, an artiste would get a minimum of 15-day work in a month. Today, there is no work at all. R Prasad (40), who has been working in the production unit for the 12 years now states that there is no source of income for him and his fellow men. Gantasala (35), a junior artist for 15 years, says "We could no longer afford paying rents, electricity and maintenance charges as we have no work and less income. We have been meeting expenses through loans and now we are in debt. Despite all the help from associations and actors, there are still several people who have not received any aid so far."
Technicians and workers currently working on the sets are asked to follow safety norms and to wear proper PPE kits. Working whole day wearing these kits is a horrible task. But they are grinning and bearing it with their dedication towards the work.