Filmmaker Aditya Chopra on Saturday launched ‘Saathi Card’ initiative to extend support to the Hindi film industry’s daily wage earners and their families amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The Saathi Card has been modelled on the lines of an internationally-acclaimed policy concepts like ‘universal basic support’.
As part of the initiative, the filmmaker’s The Yash Chopra Foundation will provide health insurance, school fee allowance, ration supply, annual health check ups among other benefits to the workers, a press statement issued on behalf of the filmmaker read.
Akshaye Widhani, Senior Vice President of Chopra’s production banner Yash Raj Films (YRF), said the Saathi Card initiative is their way of helping those people who form the backbone of the film industry.
”At Yash Raj Films, we believe not just about reactively donating but it is rather a more strategic thought process and plan of action to create sustainable impact in the lives of our beneficiaries. ”In times to come, we will expand the scope of this support to enhance the quality of life for those part of our community,” Widhani said. Any person, who is a registered member of the Hindi Film Federation in Mumbai, is 35 years of age or above and has at least one direct dependent, is eligible to apply for the Saathi Card, the press release stated.
Card holders will be able to use it for healthcare including health insurance up to Rs two lakh, free annual check-ups and discount on medicine bills and treatment services. The workers can also use the card to support their children’s education as YRF is providing an allowance for school fees, stationery and uniforms, besides they can also use the card to purchase ration supplies, it read.
In the past, Yash Raj Films have taken numerous steps to help the daily wage workers.
The production house recently launched ‘Yash Chopra Saathi Initiative’ to provide minimum basic support to thousands of workers and initiated transfer of Rs 5000 to the women and senior citizens of the industry.
Chopra also rolled out a plan to vaccinate workers of the Hindi film fraternity and lent financial support to them during the coronavirus pandemic-forced lockdown.