Tuesday, March 28

The show must go on: Tolly brigade refuses to stop work despite COVID-19 fear

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The news of the Bachchan family testing COVID-19 positive along with Anupam Kher’s mother and TV actor Parth Samthaan has left many shaken in the country. Closer home, Koel Mallick’s family and Rachel White have also tested positive. In the wake of all this, the city’s actors and technicians, who returned to the studios in June after nearly three months, are bracing for the worst but hoping for the best. According to all of them, come COVID-19 or high weather, the show must go on. Read on to know what they told us.

I don’t have enough savings to sit at home for months: Rachna Banerjee, actress who also hosts a reality show

We were shooting in a studio at Khamar, which has been declared a containment zone. Our shooting is now stalled and we are taking a seven-day break. We will soon decide if we’ll go back to the studio or shoot at a city hotel. I believe in destiny and know that no precaution can guarantee that I’ll always stay Covid-19 negative. So why stop work? Unlike Bollywood biggies, I don’t have enough savings to sit at home for months. As for insurance, I already had a medical cover and so, didn’t opt for the new one.

It’s a shame that people had to learn how to wash hands after the pandemic: Rishi Kaushik, TV actor

The virus can attack anyone and the Bachchans are proof of that. I can only take precautions and maintain hygiene. The rest is not in my hands. It’s a shame that had to learn how to wash hands after the pandemic. Our forefathers had taught us that long ago, but some of us had conveniently ignored it. Now, we have to make it and wearing masks a part of our culture. Providing us with medical insurance is a great initiative. Mine is under process.

I feel it’s a matter of luck: Indrani Halder, actress who is working as a lead in TV

I didn’t opt for medical insurance, as I already have one. And I hear everyone else’s is under process. In the meantime, if, god forbid, anything happens to anyone in the team, I’m sure everyone will pitch in to help. The news of big names in Bollywood getting infected is worrying, especially because we know that they must have taken all precautions. I feel it’s a matter of luck. But then, work can’t stop. On the sets, I am alert about hygiene and make sure it’s maintained. The rest is luck.

The spike in the cases was anticipated: Saibal Banerjee, TV producer

We have stepped up our health and hygiene monitoring. We have also paid for the artistes’ insurance in full. The technicians’ insurance is in process. Everything is taking longer as none of the offices are working with full strength. The spike in the cases was anticipated. In my opinion, we have to continue to work or the economy will collapse. However, we will abide by the decision the government will take in this situation.

Each one of us is maintaining precaution in our personal life also: Chandrasekhar Chakraborty, TV production controller

The insurance procedure for my team has started. Meanwhile, we are taking all precautions — repeated thermal checks, rounds of sanitization, constant use of masks and face shields and so on. I told my technical team that one small mistake can jeopardise our livelihood. Hence, each one of us is maintaining precaution in our personal lives also. The rest is up to god.

It is a tough situation: Shankar Chakraborty, working president of Artists Forum

Precautions are being taken but the fear is always there. People are suffering from financial stress as many were out of work for months. We have started work after a lot of discussions with the government and channels. I am part of two serials — Krishnakoli and Sorbomongola and as an actor, I am tense too. It is a weird situation. As far as medical insurance is concerned actors are getting theirs but I guess technicians are yet to have their medical tests done for it.

It is a question of bread and butter: Yash, actor

The medical insurance of the entire team, including technicians, was done by the production house before the film went on the floors. The latest news of Koel Mallick’s and Amitabh Bachchan’s families and Rachel White being tested Covid-19 positive is alarming. Of course, as an artiste, the fear is there as I work with so many people in a film. But this is the new normal and the show must go on. It is a question of bread and butter and pursuing your dreams. That can’t take a back seat for long. Work can’t stop till a vaccine is invented.

Our technicians have to work for their livelihood: Swarup Biswas, president, Federation of Cine Technicians & Workers of Eastern India (FCTWEI)

The insurance procedure for the technicians is in its final lap. Everything should be in place in another seven days. We have to take precautions to safeguard ourselves and each shooting unit is taking every measure to create a safe work environment. Our technicians have to work for their livelihood. From the federation, we have tried to provide as much support as possible. Now it is time to maintain hygiene and start working.


Source: Times of India

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