With the ease of restrictions and phase-wise opening of nationwide lockdown, things are getting back to normal but with proper precautions. The shooting of TV and movies, which came to a sudden halt two months ago, too have been allowed to resume ensuring strict measures in non-containment zones.
However, the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government states that no actor above the age of 65 will be allowed to work on the sets since the COVID-19 pandemic is still not under control and that children and senior citizens are the most vulnerable to the virus.
This move hasn't gone down well with the senior actors and production houses since most of the senior artists rely on their shows for a livelihood.
TMKOC producer on the new rule:
With this new clause, fans of popular show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah will not see senior actor Ghanashyam Nayak, who plays the role of Nattu Kaka, on the show. Objecting to the clause, producer Asit Modi pointed out that when senior citizens are being allowed to open shops and run their daily businesses, then why should such a rule be implemented in the entertainment industry.
Speaking to ETimes, he said, "Most senior artists don't have an alternative source of income. Who will take care of their expenses? Also, there is no such rule for senior citizens, who run small shops. So, why should such a rule be implemented in our line of work?"
He further stated that without the senior actors, there will be issues with the continuity of the show. Urging people to come together and request the government to reconsider, Asit Modi said: "The new GR is applicable for two months and will be amended later. But not having a pivotal character played by a senior artiste will affect the continuity until then. Everyone has to come together to request the government to rethink and reconsider this rule."
Other senior artists' working on different shows:
Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega's Dadi, played by Daljit Soundh, who is also seen in Kumkum Bhagya, told the daily that she would face major monetary issues if not allowed to work. "I am unmarried and I live alone. So, I need to earn for survival. This rule should be applicable to those who are ailing or unwell. If the new rule is implemented, it will certainly lead to monetary issues for people like me," she revealed.
Bharati Achrekar, who plays pivotal role in Naati Pinky Ki Lambi Love Story, believes that she should have the right to decide whether or not she can shoot for her show. She also pointed out that if she is healthy, she shouldn't be deprived of work.
What FWICE says:
Now, it seems the FWICE has plans to approach the state and central governments regarding the new rule. BN Tiwari, president of FWICE, said: "I had a meeting with the Cine and TV Artistes' Association (CINTAA), which has many senior artistes as its members. They have already been out of work owing to the lockdown. They will suffer more if they are not allowed to shoot now. The federation plans to approach the state and central governments regarding this. We want to request them to consider artistes' health and not their age. We will ensure all precautionary measures to ensure their safety."