Theatres reopened but workers continue to suffer due to low footfalls
Cinema halls and multiplexes have reopened after eight months but business is slow due to a number of factors like lack of new Hindi film releases and fear among the people regarding sitting in an enclosed areas with others amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the low paying workers associated with cinema halls and multiplexes, have been directly hit.
 
For some, there has been a pay cut since the lockdown happened. Many others have just lost their jobs and are waiting for new opportunities. Many of these workers are migrants in the big city, and the sole bread winners of their families.
 
Himanshu Kumar from Bihar's Saran, who has been working at a multiplex in Bengaluru as an electrician for two years, had his payment reduced to 40 per cent during the lockdown and is still not getting his due.
 
Talking about the same, Himanshu told IANS: "Although the multiplex was shut during lockdown, the CCTV cameras and fire extinguishers were on. I had to go and check these once in every 10 days. During lockdown, I was getting 40 per cent of my total pay, which has slightly increased in November, but I am still not getting my full payment."
 
The migrant worker further informed that he is looking for a job with better pay options because he has to take care of his mother, elder brother and sister-in-law back in his hometown. "I will continue for two to three months more and then look for better payment options," Himanshu informed.
 
Arijit Shil used to work as a security guard at a multiplex in Madhyamgram in the outskirts of Kolkata, but he lost his job after theatres shut down.
 
"I have worked as a security guard in the multiplex for over a year. When lockdown began, the theatre was shut, so we were out of work for four months. When the theatre reopened after lockdown, they retained only around six people who have been associated with the multiplex from the beginning. I have been told that my services will be required only when the theatre starts getting footfalls," he said.
 
Arijit's wife, a homemaker, has taken up a job to support her husband because he is no longer getting the monthly paycheque of Rs 10,000 that he used to earn from his job as a security guard.
 
He added: "I sat at home for the four months of lockdown. Then I worked at the packaging department of a herbal products company for two months on a contractual basis. Now, I am again looking for work. I called up my agency today asking them for work as I desperately need money. Meanwhile, my wife, who was a homemaker has started working at a garments manufacturing unit to help run our household."
 
Arijit and Himanshu represent the countless number of workers from different parts of the country associated with cinema halls and multiplexes, who have a similar story to tell. While cinema hall and multiplex owners wait for the audience to turn up, workers at these properties are busy figuring out how to earn their bread. The coronavirus pandemic has affected them too, but in a different way.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    suketu

    1 week ago

    audience is not going to turn up....

    LESSONS FROM THE PAST: Construction or Destruction?
    I was looking back at a foreign company that had started in India in the 1960s. It had a few well-known brands, but had only a notional presence in India. It was keen to come into the country in a big way. It was careful to select an outstanding executive to be their first chief executive officer (CEO)—someone with a proven record of achievement, and who was young and full of dynamism. 
     
    He built a team of under 30s—just seven of them—to manage all functions of the company. He set a high target for the first two years—which was reasonable considering the base was so low to begin with. 
     
    My friend Sunil was recruited as sales promotion manager, to handle all aspects of marketing—with the promise that if the targets are reached at the end of two years, he would be promoted to marketing director and the position would be kept vacant till then. At the end of two years, the targets were achieved. 
     
    But Anil, the CEO, had other ideas. He decided to import a senior from outside to be the new marketing director, Randhir. Sunil would have to report to him. 
     
    In just three months, Sunil realised how little Randhir knew and decided to quit. He had no difficulty finding another job, and at the level to which he would have been promoted, here itself – both in position and in money. 
     
    After Sunil resigned, there was great demoralisation in the company. The CEO tried to remedy this by promoting one of the four regional managers to Sunil’s position. It was bound to be a failure—giving a marketing job to a person with only sales experience!
     
    So, the CEO decided to break the company structure into pharma products and consumer products; and, now, imported a marketing director for consumer products, restricted the earlier recruited marketing director to pharma products only. 
     
    This new marketing director, in turn, hired a senior manager from an advertising agency as marketing manager of the division. So very soon, there were two marketing directors, two sales managers (one for each division), two sales promotion managers, two advertising managers, and a staff of stenos and clerks to boot—and all this for a fall of 5% in the profits and 8% in the turnover!
     
    Watching this show from afar in US, the world HQs finally decided to transfer the CEO to Singapore as head of South East Asia operations. The finance director, who had been in the company since inception, was appointed the CEO. 
     
    They realised that they need an Ashoka (an administrator) to replace Babar (a conqueror)—and they were not wrong.  The company slowly shed weight, the organisation became more supple. There was elimination, but coupled with kindness—for example, the first marketing director appointed, was later transferred as distribution manager, but his emoluments were kept unchanged, although the position was two levels lower. However, he chose to stay. He could not get any other assignment at that salary anywhere else.
     
    The story of this company always made me think - Why do brilliant people sometimes construct only to destruct? And why do they destroy so many lives and careers in the process? Fortunately, most of them are smart enough to save themselves – but they ruin lives for everyone else. 
     
    And that is where, people like Andrew Carnegie (I am a great admirer of Carnegie) who was once asked, in the early 1900s, how is it possible that he had so many millionaires (43 at one point) working for him? 
     
    He answered “Dealing with people is a lot like digging for gold. When you go digging for an ounce of gold, you have to move tons of dirt. But when you go digging, you don’t go looking for the dirt; you go looking for the gold.”
     
    The Gold, the Good, the Positive. Just as a person can become successful with the right series of words—the Gold—a person can also be destroyed for a lifetime with the wrong series of words and actions—daggers to the heart.
     
    Those who construct, must try and ensure that they do not at the same time destroy!
     
    (Walter Vieira is a Certified Management Consultant; and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of India (FIMC). He was a corporate executive for 14 years and pioneered marketing consulting in India in 1975. As a consultant, he has worked across the globe in four continents. He was the first Asian elected Chairman of ICMCI, the world apex body of 45 countries. He is the author of 16 books; a business columnist; visiting professor on marketing in the US, Europe and Asia. He now spends most of the time in NGO work.)
     
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    COMMENTS

    tillan2k

    2 weeks ago

    reason foreign seeds unless naturalised do not flourish in Indian soil and situation

    aq.qu

    2 weeks ago

    Very very well written Mr. Vieira. How simply you made such a deep point. This is the story of every other institution of reckoning; and more so in India. Be it a professionally run institution like HDFC Bank or tight gripped promoter driven group like Vedanta.
    People with similar cultures are the same everywhere.
    I guess it has more to do with individual behavior patterns rather than the so-called ‘organization culture ’ and hence such things are more pronounced in certain geographies across institutions of all hues.

    mudit3

    3 weeks ago

    Beautifully expressed. Jealousy makes people discard gold. JRD Tata and many others were outstanding exceptions. And Dhirubhai Ambani was a leader par excellence.

    Scam 1992 and Us, and Why You May Want To Start with Episode 9
    Many years ago, I was presented with a signed and autographed copy of SCAM 1992, and it was read from end to end by many at our office, also because our little infotech company was moving into the financial business domain. The fraud prevention part. Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu's book  helped us understand many of the quirks and loopholes within the Indian banking system, and after a peer review with our then business partners in India, we opted to stay out of bidding for fraud prevention business with banks in India because, simply put, the loopholes were far too big.
     
    Not that there did not exist loopholes in banking abroad; Wachovia and Western Union were two examples, which we knew a lot about, and most of the casino biggies. But the loopholes there were different, in a manner of assessment, they were more along the lines of a large number of small scams linked more to greed at the bottom of the pyramid. Cross-selling and multiple retail bank accounts, for example, or cheque cashing for and on behalf of illegal immigrants, or the kind of stuff we see in movies about casinos.
     
    The Indian banking loopholes, on the other hand, were more for and towards larger scams executed with finesse top down. And this, then, in turn, reflected in the checks and balances that the fraud prevention systems and techniques were supposed to prevent. Something like trying to keep fish in a lake safe from theft by the people who lived around the lake and had caught fish there for centuries, but doing nothing about people who came from outside and who, blatantly, without any attempt to even disguise their methods, burst explosives to stun the fish and then take away as many as they wanted. Which SCAM 1992 explained in great detail.
     
    There was no way we could make any sort of fraud prevention technology for such daylight robberies, and after a few very typical visits in the late 1990s to banking offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai or the sort where even after an appointment you are supposed to wait for hours and hours, we just took an unwritten policy decision to stay away from any sort of Indian banking business. The holes in the Indian banking business were bigger than the banks themselves. 
     
    But this is an essay about the resounding success of the webseries SCAM 1992 and the last lines of the paragraph in the book of the same name, which goes like this - "Nothing would be resolved. Hardly anybody would be convicted. No money would be found." 
     
    I have known Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu for a long long time, and am privileged to be able to write for their magazine, blogs, print and online. Their positive approach on life is something that helps pull me out of despair. But. The last line of their book is their pragmatic selves talking.
     
    The serial on Sony Liv of the same name is something else, it flows like smooth jazz, it helps give hope in these dark days, the ultimate test of which is: how do people who usually don't appreciate banking or know much about the subject, sit glued to the screen?
     
    At home and in my circle of friends and family, I now know of dozens of people, who in turn know dozens more who have started watching SCAM 1992 and then done all night binges, or seen it twice or more. My suggestions to them and others is to see Episode 9 first, and then savour the full series, sequentially - one episode at a time.
     
    So why is SCAM 1992 such a huge success and why should you see it, if you haven't seen it already?
     
    1) It does not make a caricature out of people, except for some jibes at famous people, who have had a sense of humour, because movies and life need to be funny too.
     
    2) The language and accents used are so truly Indian corporate, and though set in Bombay/Mumbai, they do not stoop to the tapori (slang) medium.
     
    3) There are no really evil or totally good characters - barring some light relief from the lady playing Harshad's wife—everybody is in shades of every colour.
     
    4) If there is a real villain, it is the foreign banks, and nobody has ever had the guts to show this in India. Thus, once again, episode 9 first, please.
     
    5) Go to the Moneylife website and run a search using SCAM 1992 to figure out so many of the nuances in what essentially was the template for future larger scams.
     
    But most off, the serial flows seamlessly, like a human being breathing. And that is the real power of the visual media when compared to a book. As well as the difference.
     
    This is an eminently watchable film on the India of big money crooks, unfolding now as NPAs and scams running into thousands of crores of rupees, and an introduction to why India is unique in such large co-ordinated scams. Our banking system designs and then leaves holes to be exploited, as simple as that, and the ease of theft is then breath-taking.
     
    Like throwing explosives in a lake full of fish. That's them. Whilst the people living along the lake go hungry. Remember them? That's us.
     
    (Veeresh Malik is an activist from Delhi, who continues to explore several things in life.)
     
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    COMMENTS

    rajoluramam

    4 weeks ago

    The most important thing our Indian
    banking needs is BASIC HONESTY from the customers and banking personel. What ever may be the RULES AND REGULATIONS, with out truthfulness in the operations of the banking industry banking cannot be successful . Has any body come across the information about the NPAs in the agriculture and allied activities? Inspite of huge susidies like Interest susidies, subsidised fertiliser, pesticides, minimum support price, crop insurence etc etc, the NPAs are piling up because the politicians, just to please the voters, tell the farmers not to refund
    the loans taken. A notion is prevailing in the masses that a loan from a government bank need not be repaid. Drastic change is needed in the mindset of the people who take loans ffom the public sector banks.

    REPLY

    m.prabhu.shankar

    In Reply to rajoluramam 3 weeks ago

    True sir. Basic Honesty and Truthfulness is the need of the hour from the banking industry side. Also we all should realize by going through NPA data that farm loan waivers are minuscule compared to the loan waivers given to industrialists favored by politicians. This is not a blind support for farmers. Please go through the data then you will realize the same easily.

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