Bollywood dancer provides oximeters to make ends meet – Occasions of India

Shekhar Shah is part of choreographer Ganesh Acharya’s troupe

MUMBAI: Twenty years into his profession as a Bollywood dancer, the pandemic abruptly reduce off 45-year outdated Shekhar Shah’s earnings. As movie shoots got here to a halt, Shah had no possibility however to sit down at dwelling. “The Centre needs us to be atmanirbhar. However the irony is that I used to be atmanirbhar earlier than the pandemic. Now, we’re all struggling,” says Shah, who lives within the Outdated Shanti Nagar chawl in Borivli together with his spouse and two sons, aged 12 and seven.
Shah is part of the famed Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya’s troupe, seen in Agneepath, Tanhaji and a bunch of Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn movies. “Our wages are unionized so we earned roughly Rs four,000 per day. This labored out to round Rs 30-40,000 monthly since we don’t get work each day.”
The household managed to get by until Might as a result of Acharya despatched a field of ration every month. Then Shah determined to commerce within the provide of oximeters and thermo-guns. He buys from wholesalers and sells to retailers. “I don’t earn a lot, possibly Rs 5,000 monthly however no less than it pays the meals payments. I didn’t wish to ask others for cash,” he says.
Queries from buddies about oximeters led Shah to discover this enterprise, despite the fact that he knew it was a extremely aggressive subject. “That is one thing I’m doing within the brief run. I don’t have the capital to start out a enterprise. Neither is it potential for me to search for a job at a time when persons are dropping jobs,” he says.
When the lockdown was introduced, Shah was on a non secular pilgrimage in Bihar. “I had to spend so much on air tickets to fly 12 relations dwelling since trains stopped working,” says Shah. This worn out a bit of financial savings. “I couldn’t save very a lot in any case since our earnings are erratic.”
Shah is aware of it will likely be months earlier than group dances resume in movie shoots. “With social distancing, who will danger group dances?” he asks. The pandemic additionally scuttled his goals of shifting in direction of movie manufacturing and course.
His greatest fear now’s paying the college charges of his two sons. “The annual charges are Rs 65,000 every. I’ve not been capable of pay it but,” says the anxious father.
Shah feels that simply because dancers like him look well-off, they don’t evoke the identical sympathy as each day wagers. “The federal government has some schemes for them. However we’re additionally each day wagers. The times we don’t work, we don’t earn.”

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