Ghulam Sattar, 54, has been a lightman for 15 years had never thought it would be necessary to be a part of film worker’s unions like Federation of Western India Cine Employee (FWICE). Because of the production houses, Lightman Ghulam could easily find work on the sets of TV shows, ad films, and Bollywood movies without being any part of the organization. Besides, Sattar feels “the federation only helps a few.”
When he was ill in 2019, he recalls, none of the worker’s unions came forward to help. Sattar said that as no help was provided from the union so he thought that it did not make any sense to be a part of such unions. He further said that he had a knee problem because of which he had a problem walking and that only Rajan Shahi (director of TV series Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai) took care of him. He added that he went for work in January but then the pandemic arrived.
The imposed lockdown to break the chain of the pandemic breakout has made things difficult for Ghulam Sattar and his son Mohammad Saif Ullah. His son is also a lightman. Due to the lockdown, all works have been stopped, thus affecting people whose sole earning was that work.
Currently observing daily Roza (fasting) during the holy month of Ramzan, Lightman Ghulam remarked, “We are keeping our Iftaar as simple as possible. Earlier we could spend Rs 200, now we think before spending even Rs 50. I am worried about our future. I pray that the pandemic is over soon.”
Sattar is now looking for other sources of assistance. “I was told that the FWICE had sent my details to Salman Khan, as he is trying to help cine employees who are not a part of the federation. Maybe help will come.”
According to the Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE), actor Salman Khan has vowed to provide financial support of Rs. 25,000 to daily wage workers who are from the film industry, in the wake of the national lockdown.
The daily wage workers across different avenues are badly hit by the lockdown.