TV actor Rajesh Kareer, who posted a heartbreaking video seeking financial help on Facebook recently, has revealed that he needed the money to return to Punjab where he hopes to find employment now. The actor later shared another video to inform everyone that his Begusarai co-actor Shivangi Joshi has reached out to him and he did not need any more money.
Talking about his plans, Rajesh told Hindustan Times, “I have applied for my son’s school leaving certificate and I hope we move to Punjab by Thursday. I won’t leave Mumbai (forever). This is where I have worked throughout my life, I cannot learn new skills at this age. I do not see the situation (of working in Mumbai, given the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing norms to be observed) improving in near future. I may not be able to wait for those 6-8 months before I can get some decent work. So I plan to go back to my native place and start something small. I will also try my hands at Punjabi films. Mumbai is in my heart, I will come back when the city calls me.”
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Elaborating on the issue of non-payment of TV actors and technicians, Rajesh shared his experience and said, “I had no money a few months ago, and I saw how the producers do not want to pay dues to actors and technicians. This situation is fine for those who have a bank balance of Rs 1 crore, but what about people like us?”
Explaining why he had to ask for help on social media, he said, “Log payment nahi dete, ek ek saal ho jata hai aur do din ka payment nahi milta. Iss halaat me actor kya kare? Ya to uska background solid ho ya usko regular kaam mil raha ho. July 30, 2019 ke baad maine ek din bhi kaam nahi kiya. Kaha se paise laega jisne kaam hi nahi kiya kareeb 11 maheene se?(Producers delay payments for a year. What should actors do in such a situation? Either the actor has a solid background or he gets regular work. Now in may case, I haven’t worked since July 30, 2019. Where will I get money from?) I only had this one option – to openly seek help from everyone. I could have either embraced death or found ways to live – everyone supported me when I chose life,” he added.
Rajesh broke down as he said choosing death would have only made things difficult for his kid and family. “It is not easy to come out in the open and seek help. Khud ko marna padta hai.” Asked about his hopes of finding work in Punjabi film industry, he said, “That is because I do not know anything else. Acting is all I know and all I have done all these years. I am 50, I cannot do anything new right now. If you give me Rs 1 lakh per month and ask me to sit on a chair for six hours everyday, I won’t do it.That is not what I am used to doing.”
He also shared that the last income of their family had was from an advertisement shoot that his son did with Sachin Tendulkar. “My son is interested so I got him to act in this ad with 5-6 other kids. He is just 11 years old. His was the last income our family had.”
“I also got a call from Sonu Sood. He has been helping so many people. He knows how tough it is to survive in this city and in the current scenario, we do not even know when work will resume completely,” Rajesh said.
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