On Monday afternoon, the Film Employees’ Federation of South India (FEFSI) put out a statement concerning the livelihood of daily wage workers and employees of the South Indian film industries. It spoke of the troubles they are facing owing to the Coronavirus outbreak which has halted film shooting, and other work. The federation made a request to the film fraternity to donate money for the procurement of rice bags, a basic need, for the employees.
The statement mentioned that the organisation comprising 25,000 members, has seen various strikes including ones against the producer council for salary appraisal and government for various needs but hasn’t faced such a threatening strike. It also added that 15,000 of these members are daily wage workers who live off the income earned from shooting sets every day.
“One of the workers called me and asked me the duration of this strike. When I told him it would go on for about 15-20 days he told me that he would rather succumb to the virus than watching his family and children die out of famine. This has disturbed me to an extent that cannot be expressed in words,” said FEFSI president RK Selvamani in the statement.
Film Employees Federation of South India popularly known as #FEFSI asks all those who are part of the film industry and others to financially help the daily wage workers who are without work as there is no shoot.
It is the daily wage earner who suffers the most
— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) March 23, 2020
In immediate response to this, actors Suriya, Karthi and their father Sivakumar have donated a sum of 10 lakhs to the organisation. Further, actors Rajinikanth (50 lakhs), Kamal Haasan (10 lakhs), Dhanush (15 lakhs), Sivakarthikeyan (10 lakhs), Vijay Sethupathi (10 lakhs), producer Lalit Kumar’s Seven Screen Studio (10 lakhs), director Shankar (10 lakhs), Harish Kalyan (1 lakh), production house Sathya Jyothi Films (1 lakh), director P Vasu (1 lakh), Supreme Sundar (1 lakh) director Lokesh Kanagaraj (50k), Aadukalam Naren (25k), Chithra Lakshmanan (25k), Actress Sachu Kumari (10k), and several other actors, producers, and still photographers have also made their monetary contributions.
The Tamil Film Press Association, the Salem head of ‘Vijay Makkal Iyakkam’, production houses Axess Film Factory, 11:11 Production, producer Dhanu, actors Radha Ravi, Manobala, directors Hari, Santhana Bharathi, and Sanjay Bharathi and several others have also made their contributions in kind by donating a certain amount of rice and dal bags.
— VIJAY ANNA Fan (@MathaiyanVijay) March 24, 2020
On Tuesday, The South Indian Artists Association a.k.a Nadigar Sangam also put out a statement calling for donations for supporting artistes of all ages and genders. It added that 70% of the members are daily wage workers who are currently in a crisis owing to the global threat. The statement also added bank and account details to which contributors could donate.
#Siaa Members willing to donate to help our junior artistes-drama artists who r suffering due to lock down,can send money to this account.The Special Officer wl do the needful to help the needy.THE SOUTH INDIAN ARTISTES ASSOCIATION
— NadigarSangam PrNews (@NadigarsangamP) March 24, 2020
In response to this, Ishari K Ganesh of Vels Film International has donated 10 Lakhs to the association.
Producer Dr.Ishari K Ganesh, @VelsFilmIntl Who has a Helping Mind, donates Rs.10 Lakhs To Nadigar Sangam Immediately in response to this attached letter from Special Officer due to Corona Virus Issue . pic.twitter.com/FduQPNzscR
— Vels Film International (@VelsFilmIntl) March 24, 2020