MUMBAI: In response to the nationwide lockdown undertaken as a measure to contain the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) has decided to contribute a fund of Rs 100 millionm to support the daily wage workers in the media and entertainment industry.
With the entire media ecosystem including all television, cinema shows, and film production coming to a halt since 20th March, the M&E industry is grappling with mass unemployment. It has especially impacted the sustenance of the daily wage earners from production crew involving a gamut of people like artists, cameramen, spot boys, light boys, and their dependent families.
The network is reaching out to the daily wage earners identified by their respective trade associations with free coupons which they and their families can exchange for their daily necessities like food and essential items at select retail stores. SPN is also working with its various commissioned production houses to disburse a month’s salary to each daily wage earner.
Additionally, the network has also contributed to the ‘Swades COVID Fund’, set up by the Swades Foundation. Founded by Zarina & Ronnie Screwvala, the foundation is providing authorities of Mumbai, Raigad and Nashik districts of Maharashtra state, medical equipment and consumables, procured under their direction for their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, in Mumbai, the foundation is supporting infrastructure, healthcare staff, volunteers and consumables in identified government & private hospitals.
NP Singh, managing director and CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN): “In light of the global pandemic, we are witnessing large communities across the world coming together to tide over the crisis. These unprecedented times have had a cascading impact on the media and entertainment industry, which employs a huge number of daily wage workers. As a conscientious conglomerate, it is our responsibility to direct efforts towards ensuring aid reaches our primary beneficiaries who have contributed to the success of the network.
“Besides this initiative, we are also providing coupons to the migrant workers from this daily wage workforce, which they can trade-off at certain retail outlets for groceries and essential supplies. We will leverage every opportunity to help our country at large to get through trying times like these.”
Additionally, in unanimous support with the industry, the network has made its channel Sony PAL, available free of charge on all DTH and cable networks to its viewers for a period of two months. This will provide people who are restricted to their homes, wholesome entertainment and invigorating content and will help provide relief during the period of lockdown.
Several channels in the network including Sony Entertainment Television, Sony SAB, Sony Pictures Sports Network, Sony Marathi and Sony YAY! have created PSAs. Additionally, advertising inventory across SPN is being extensively used to promote public service messaging.