Among the television actors, Donal Bisht has been one of the first ones to speak about the 90-day payment disparity in the industry. In an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Hungama, Donal opened up about how she comes from a corporate background and how she arranged a Q&A session for her mental health awareness program that also dealt with period shaming. Giving us insight on her views, take a look at our conversation with Donal Bisht.
When asked about being the first one to open up about payment disparity, Donal said, “I came from a corporate background where we were paid on a monthly basis. And we were accustomed to that. When I entered this industry, I was not aware of this 90-Day payment clause. On the other hand, I do understand that production houses are not the ones to be blamed here but channels should definitely understand the gravity of the situation. Who is responsible if the actor finds it very difficult to run his household or to make the dead ends meet. Also, the payment gets sanctioned in our account by the end of the fourth month, so henceforth we have to wait for 4 long months despite of working so hard, as the work hours are extended hours if we are running out of time. We deliver our work on time so why can't the makers give us our hard-earned money on time?”
We further asked her if she had ever been on the receiving end of it, to which the actress replied, “When I came to Mumbai, as I said I was not aware of this 90-day payment clause. But I had my savings which helped me survive in this illustrious city. But I had to manage the savings by doing a lot of cost-cutting. You need money to survive in a city like Mumbai as living here is very expensive. Also, patience and perseverance is the key to make it big in this Industry. Thankfully, I haven't faced any payment issues as yet but I saw many examples where the actors were not paid even after the show went off-air. I feel sorry for such people because they just begin their careers and they face such issues. I hope justice is served to them.”
Her campaign on mental health awareness and period shaming became quite a hit, she elaborated on how she conceptualized it by saying, “During the month of May, which is also regarded as the mental awareness month. Since everyone was locked inside their houses, everyone was getting frustrated, irritated, and depressed. A lot of my friends called me and shared their problems and somehow I succeeded in consoling them. So I thought why not the world if someone is feeling heard after talking to me then why not? And the only medium was social media. So I arranged a Q and A session for a week and answered to a lot of people as many as I could. And it gives me immense happiness that I could do something for someone. Also talking about the period-shaming campaign, we bleed because we have the capacity to give birth to a new life. But still, there are a lot of girls even in the urban city who are treated like untouchables when they are on their periods. Why? That's the reason all of us have come into existence right? So if you cannot respect it, then please don't call them awful at least.”
On dealing with mental health issues during the lockdown, Donal advised, “See bottling up your feelings will not help you to heal at all. If you refuse to share your problems with your closed ones then it is a big error on your part. Talk to the ones who can console you, tell them how do you feel. Also, keep your mind engaged by doing some or the other leisure activity. Learn new things and keep yourself occupied. It is being already said that an idle mind is a devil's workshop.
On the work front, Donal wishes to act in films along with television shows. Donal Bisht concluded our conversation with a special message for her fans, “I love them all through the bottom of my heart. The only message that I have for them is, please be safe we don't know when is this pandemic going to get eradicated completely. But till then please maintain safety and hygiene and be hale and hearty and keep showering your love and blessings till the end as you do now.”
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