Zee TV's Hamari Bahu Silk actors and crew members have come out in open to demand their payment dues from producers- Devyani Rale and Jyoti Gupta- as the payments are due since a year now. Making matters worse for them is the current state of the nation during the lockdown. Many of them have been facing extreme financial crunch in absence of new work.
We spoke to Chahat Pandey, who essayed character of Pakhi on the show in detail about the situation. The actress, who is currently at her hometown in Madhya Pradesh, spoke to us about how the whole team is suffering and begging for their own money and how helpless they are due to the lockdown to take any action.
Excerpts from the conversation below:
Why did you and the other team members not speak about the pending dues for so long?
When the show went off air, producers had told us that they can't pay right now as the channel (Zee TV) has not released their money. And even then, shamelessly they had told us that they will be able to give us only 40% of the due amount and that too, later on. If you guys are okay with that then take or leave it.
Two days before the show was about to go off air, my co-star Zaan Khan and I demanded for a post-dated cheque for the pending dues of the team, which they provided with the date of two months later. It was nearly one crore rupees but when we submitted the cheque on the written date, it didn't bounce but the bank refused to release the payment. When we asked for the reason, they said that the customer has requested to stop the said transaction.
Why didn't you all go the Fedration then?
Because these people constantly kept telling us not to as they were promising that the moment channel will give the payment, we will give it to you guys. But we didn't know ye itne bade cheat hai ki hamara paisa khaa jaayenge.
Did you all try to speak with the Channel directly?
Yes, we went to their office in January and they informed us that they have partially made the payment and had given them the 40% amount and rest they were supposed to recieve after submitting bills which they haven't. And that's why they haven't done the full payment to them. So, the channel is not at fault.
Have you guys approached CINTAA now?
Yes, we have because the crew is in a very bad state. There are technicians like Hair Dada, makeup artistes, Spot boys, who don't have money to give their rents and eat food. Amit Behal has promised us that he will look into the matter and do the needful. I am sharing their videos with you all, it will get tears in your eyes.
The show was on-air for around 7 months. How much payment they have given you all?
Just one month. It's hard to believe but in this industry, the rule is to release payment after 3 months, so we kept quiet for 3-4 months because of the infudtry norm. However, when we didn't receive our fees post that, we started asking for it but all they did was hang us in the air by saying, "have faith in us."
Have the producers at least called you all now?
Not a single call to anyone. I don't understand what kind of people they are. They are not even concerned that their reputation is going down. We had signed the show and were happily shooting for it even when the payments were not regular as we thought Devyani is a renowned name in the industry and the channel is big. But we didn't know such people also eat other's hard-earned money.
What action are you guys taking now?
Agar lockdown nahi hota, toh hum sab Zee TV ke office ke bahar dharna dete aur tab tak nahi uthte jab tak hamari payment nahi hoti. Itne disturbed hain hum sab.
There are actors jinka career iss show se shuru hua tha like Kirti Choudhary who played Mausami on the show, Ishaan who played Zaan's brother- now, all have gone back to their homes as they had no money to survive in a city like Mumbai. They shot for the show for free and on top of that took care of their own expenses- from giving rent to travel and food, which they took from their families and this is what they have got in return. There are days when we have worked for 15-17 hours and they have not given our per day overtime payment also.
Image Source:- Facebook/HamariBahuSilkWrittenUpdates, Wikimedia Commons
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