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Not part of any union, lightman Ghulam Sattar feels helpless

Ghulam Sattar started working as a lightman as he couldn’t make enough money to run his family as a labourer.

Written by Komal RJ Panchal | Mumbai |
May 11, 2020 7:17:14 pm
Ghulam Sattar Ghulam Sattar has been working as a lightman for over 15 years.

Ghulam Sattar, 54, has been a lightman for 15 years but never thought it necessary to be part of film worker’s unions like Federation of Western India Cine Employee (FWICE). Without the assistance of any organistaion, he was able to find work on the sets of TV shows, ad films and Bollywood movies, thanks to production houses. Besides, Sattar feels “the federation only helps a few.”

When he was ill in 2019, he recalls, none of the worker’s unions came forward to help. Sattar said, “Since there was no help, I thought it didn’t make sense to be a part of these unions. I had a knee problem and couldn’t walk. Only Rajan Shahi (director of TV series Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai) took care of me. I went back to work in January this year, and was looking forward to working, but destiny had a different plan for all of us.”

The lockdown has made things difficult for Ghulam Sattar and his son Mohammad Saif Ullah, who is also a lightman, as work has come to a standstill following the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Currently observing daily Roza (fasting) during the holy month of Ramzan, Sattar remarked, “We are keeping our iftaar as simple as possible. Earlier we could spend Rs 200, now we think before spending even Rs 50. I am worried about our future. I pray that the pandemic is over soon.”

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Sattar is now looking for other sources of assistance. “I was told that the FWICE had sent my details to Salman Khan, as he is trying to help cine employees who are not a part of the federation. Maybe help will come.”

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