It’s been a little over three weeks since COVID-19 became a pressing issue for India, and consequently affecting the Hindi film industry. Irrfan’s Angrezi Medium was the first casualty of the lockdown, after it released in the midst of paranoia surrounding theatres. Hindi films will reportedly lose an estimated Rs 800 crore in the next two months. Those affected also hail from the TV industries and web series, since all production has been halted. This created a wave of panic amongst the respective industries, who survive on their daily paychecks. However if Mumbai Mirror is to be believed, Bollywood big guns have come out in a big way to support these personnel.
“This is that time when all that matters is the lives of our people. And we need to do anything and everything it takes,” Akshay Kumar was quoted after reportedly donating a cheque worth Rs 25 crore to the PM-CARES Fund. This is shortly after Hrithik Roshan pledged N95 masks for BMC workers across Mumbai, working continuously during the lockdown. Celebrity host Kapil Sharma has agreed to donate Rs 50 lakhs to the PM Relief Fund, while his colleague Maniesh Paul pooled in an impressive Rs 20 lakhs.
T-Series mogul, Bhushan Kumar, has reportedly agreed to donate Rs 11 crore to the PM-CARES fund and Rs 1 crore to the CM Relief Fund. While doing so, Kumar urged everyone to stay home and hoped that we all get through these challenging times soon. Salman Khan has apparently pledged to look after 25000 daily wage workers under the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE). BN Tiwari, president of the FWICE, was quoted as saying, “We have given a list of names to Salman and he will directly transfer money to their bank accounts. We reached out to several actors but only Salman responded. His foundation, Being Human, has always taken care of the Industry’s own”
Randeep Hooda and his business partner, Jay Patel, have reportedly pledged Rs 1 crore to the PM Relief Fund. Suniel Shetty and daughter, Athiya, have been mass-procuring ration and hygiene products to distribute amongst the lesser privileged. “We will have to remain responsive as the situation evolves, to ensure that we are aligned with government and medical directives,” Shetty was quoted.
This is only a couple of weeks after the Producers’ Guild of India set up a fund for the sustenance of the daily wage workers. President of the guild, Siddharth Roy Kapur, encouraged his colleagues to contribute to the fund to ensure minimal disruption in the lives of their ‘valued colleagues’. The 21-day lockdown has unwittingly inspired a massive humanitarian crisis in cities like Delhi and Mumbai, where a large chunk of these migrant labourers were stuck, being unable to afford rent or travel.