The Producers’ Guild of India, the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), the three leading cine bodies working in Bollywood, have decided to organise a wide-scale vaccination drive for its members.
The six-day programme will be held at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai and will begin June 1. The unions are collectively aiming to inoculate close to 10,000 people. There could be an increase in the vaccine rollout, depending on the turnout.
Manish Goswami, vice-president, the Producers’ Guild of India, says, “We are targeting close to 5,000 people. Those registered on Co-WIN can receive their vaccination at the venue. This is being done in association with Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, and each jab is priced at ₹1,000 (approximately £9.72). The cost is being borne by the respective production houses.”
According to reports, nearly 25 leading production houses, including Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment and Rohit Shetty’s Rohit Shetty Picturez, have signed up for the initiative.
The cast and crew members of leading streaming media platforms like Netflix India and Amazon Prime Video India are also expected to participate in the drive.
Siddharth Roy Kapur, president, the Producers’ Guild of India, adds, “An activity of such magnitude cannot be carried out single-handedly. We are grateful for the support we have received, especially from Excel Entertainment, which played a pivotal role in securing the vaccines, and Mehboob Productions, which generously offered complimentary use of the spacious Mehboob Studios.”
The IFTDA and FWICE will conduct their parallel immunisation camp for 5,000 members at the Federation office in Andheri. “We have tied up with Surya Hospital, and will start the drive between June 10 and 15. All producers, technicians and workers will be eligible. The initiative has been organised by the Federation and sponsored by me,” says Ashoke Pandit, president, IFTDA.
The second wave of coronavirus infections in India has turned out to be devastating for the country. After reporting close to 400,000 positive cases per day earlier in May, the country has now started witnessing a significant drop in new infections. By inoculating as many members as possible, cine bodies are hoping to facilitate safer shooting once production resumes most probably in July.