Child artists face rights violations on serial sets of Kerala entertainment industry

The entertainment industry has paved a career path for many leading actors since their young age.

Published: 12th August 2019 01:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2019 01:21 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purposes. (Express illustrations))

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The entertainment industry has paved a career path for many leading actors since their young age. Child actors often keep the screens alive with their innocent and entertaining roles. However, what goes behind these screens is anything but a child's play. Major child rights violations are happening on the sets of television serials. Parents of child artists, consequently, have approached authorities including the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare (KSCCW).

Recently, KSCCW received several complaints from the parents of child artists working in a leading entertainment channel. In the complaints, they highlighted the non-payment of remuneration after being forced to work for long hours and face other rule violations.

Violations are said to be rampant on television serial sets. “About 10 children were part of the serial and the shooting was held for 132 days. Although the children were made to work for long hours without an interval, they were not given a remuneration even after the shooting ended,” said a person, who was associated with the drama series in question.

Child artists are often forced to spend their entire day on the shooting sets, which violates the rights of children. “I used to accompany my child to his sets daily. The children were made to work for over 19 hours continuously. The schedule was tightly packed. His day at the set began at 6 am and went on till 1 am. My child got only a few hours to sleep,” said a Palakkad-based child artist's father.

Despite what the law states, these children's education is hindered owing to these long hours on the sets. As per the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act regarding the employment of children in the entertainment industry, they are not supposed to be made to work for more than three hours and they have to get an interval for at least one hour.

Because of the violations, many child artists and parents have opted out of the industry. “Although it was my passion to act in films, I have decided to quit. They were rude to us several times and made us work without a break,” said a child actor.

According to KSCCW general secretary Deepak S P, basic rights of these young artists are often ignored as parents aspire for fame and money. Parents of a few child artists approached us recently. This is the first time they are speaking up against the violations," he said.

Consequently, the council has decided to take up the issue with the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. "We received complaints from the parents. The petitioners were directed to file a complaint with the police and then forward it to the commission. We have not received any updates in this regard," said Fr Philip Parakatt, a member of the commission.

However, the Association of Television Media Artists (ATMA) general secretary Dhinesh Panicker says the body has never received any complaint about the violation of child artists on serial sets. "But, if any case of violation of child artists have been reported, as an association we stand by the children,” he said.


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