Actor Kamal Haasan, who is the chairman of FICCI (Media and Entertainment division) will be facilitating a massive ‘skill development’ effort to certify 10,000 technicians of the Indian film industry after being roped in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ‘Skill Development Mission’ programme.
“This is a long overdue national effort undertaken by the workers of various language film industries in India. The skill development programme will happen for three days in November in Chennai. The idea is to make our technicians internationally qualified,” Mr. Haasan told The Hindu in an exclusive interview. The programme, he says, is one of the first ‘worker-led initiatives’ to impart skills to technicians in the film industry. “This programme has been planned in cooperation with unions of various film industries,” he said.
Mr. Haasan said this must not be seen as an effort by the workers to push for a hike in wages. “Efforts like this will go a long way in getting the movie industry,
which is growing leaps and bounds, recognised as any other big industry. It will push the industry towards pursuing excellence,” he said.
The actor said that well-known technicians would be roped in to impart training and skills. “The technicians will be certified by experienced practitioners. The focus will be on technicians doing dangerous work without proper industrial training. We are talking about technicians such as electricians and stunt personnel who do dangerous work, but without proper training, so that they can be safe while working,” he said.
When asked about the current problems plaguing the Tamil film industry — producers routinely getting into financial troubles and resulting in issues related to a film’s release, he said introducing transparency in business deals will solve these issues in the long run. “Transparency in the business of cinema will result in the industry growing 10-fold. The industry is still stuck with the Kattabomman Syndrome: we don’t want to pay our taxes to the government, although it is no longer a foreign ruler and we rule ourselves. If the money in the industry becomes legitimate, the industry as a whole can benefit,” he said.
The recognition of skills will help the workers obtain insurance, access to banking (loans) and education. “In the long run, I am looking at a scenario where we could give degrees such as a Doctorate in Costume Designing,” he said.
He urged the producers and other major stake holders in the industry to contribute towards upgrading and developing skills. “It used to happen when studios were flourishing. Now, it is just a free for all. They just look at the bottom line and are content to just hire and fire. Other industries such as automobiles have an in-built mechanism to constantly train and impart new skills,” he said.
Actor Kamal Haasan also underlined that this initiative is taken up by the government and not by a particular political party.
Courtesy : The Hindu