The Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday evening, requesting the resumption of work in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry. Films and television shooting is currently on hold owing to the second wave of the Covid pandemic.
The letter is signed by FWICE Chief Advisor Ashoke Pandit, President BN Tiwari, Chief Advisor Sharad Shelar, General Secretary Ashok Dubey, and Treasurer Gangeshwar Shrivastav. It reads: “With reference to the subject matter, we would like to draw your attention to the numerous requests sent to you by the FWICE and the co-ordination committee regarding our request for resumption of work in the M&E Industry. However, none of our letters have been responded by your good office and no decision has been taken on our requests.
“Sir, let us apprise you that there are lakhs of artists, workers and technicians who are jobless since the past one and half years and that the only source of income for them is from the M&E Industry. This industry has been providing work to lakhs of hands and enabling their families to earn their daily bread. However, the lockdown of the Industry has impacted the lives of these daily wage workers who have absolute no other source of income and are totally dependent on the work of the Industry.
“The announcement of extension of the lockdown for another 15 days shall really be a setback for these deprived set of artists, workers and technicians and also the economy of the Industry. Not only the workers but the producers are also affected badly with huge investments already made into the running projects which have been to a standstill due to the unfortunate lockdown. We being the mother body of 32 different crafts of artists, workers and technicians of the industry have been receiving numerous calls from our members regarding their difficult survival conditions and requesting us to start the work of the Industry.
“Sir, we hereby request you to please provide us with a special permission to resume the work of the M&E industry enabling these lakhs of daily wage workers to earn their living and survive with their families during these most difficult times. We shall ensure that the work shall resume with strict adherence to the SOP’s, Guidelines issued by the government especially for the M&E Industry.
“FWICE and the Co-ordination Committee assure you that all the Rules and regulations of the Government shall be followed by each and every crew member and all necessary precautions shall be taken at each work location.
“We look forward to your understanding, cooperation and your permission for us to resume the work in the M&E industry accordingly," the letter concluded.