As the world copes with the coronavirus pandemic with rigorous measures, many in Bangladesh woke up to the news that they have no jobs. Like workers of several other industries, crew members of media production companies are facing financial hardships at the moment. Consequently, numerous renowned TVC production houses of the country have pledged their support to an initiative that aims to support the daily wage earners, who have been severely affected by the pandemic.
Md Assaduzzaman, Co - Producer of Half Stop Down, stated that through this initiative, TVC production houses have started a relief fund. Initially, he set up the fund with Mahjabin Reza from Half Stop Down. "Samaresh Mukherjee from Applebox Films and Habibur Rahman Tareq from Runout Films also joined us. Although it is very minimal, we are trying our best to support the crew members through these difficult times."
More than 25 TVC production houses have contributed to the relief fund. "This is an unprecedented situation. We are prioritising the daily wage earners who need help. Around 30 of them will receive the money, which we hope they can utilise for up to one month," says Shimul Chandra Biswas, Executive Producer of Facecard Production. "We are unsure of the timeframe of the shutdown, but we intend to continue to support the workers in the future."
Applebox Films has started a social network communication project to raise the funds with their Applebox Films Corona Fund. "Since our job is heavily depended on field work, the spot boys, production runners and other crew members are going through a difficult time right now," Piplu R Khan, Director and Founder of Applebox Films, says in a video message. "I presume that they will have no work for the next eight weeks or so, as the shutdown might be extended. We are also trying to support our friends and activists who are helping people of different communities. We may not have the adequate preparations to face the fatalities. As a result, public participation is absolutely necessary for us." He further requested his friends and well-wishers to help people in need in any way they can.
Raka Noshin Nawar, a director at Applebox Films, explained that regular updates of the fund distributions are posted on their social media handles. "We have seen generous participations from all our colleagues and friends, but we also felt the need to maintain clarity in our initiative. So far, we reached out to 21 crew members from the industry. A portion of the fund was also donated towards medical equipment for doctors," she shares.
In order to keep the initiative active, they have recently started the challenge, #PohelaBaishakhCoronaChallange, where they appealed to the public to celebrate the upcoming Bengali New Year by donating the amount that they would otherwise spend on buying gifts.