Soaps have become a part and parcel of daily life for most television buffs. They remain glued to the small screen episode after episode for the plot to unravel. But how much of these soap operas come laced with native and local content?
Charging the Telugu general entertainment channels of ‘importing’ serials and thereby depriving the livelihood of local talent, the Telugu television industry has decided to unite under the umbrella of a joint action committee. Comprising Telugu television artistes, anchors, technicians and producers, the JAC wants dubbed serials to be replaced by locally produced content and set a deadline of Ugadi festival.
Airing dubbing serials might be a cheaper option for TV channels but is disastrous for the production units based in the State, TV Artist Association president and JAC member M. Vinod Bala said. While a daily serial produced here costs Rs.70,000, a dubbed serial costs just about Rs.30,000.
“Our State is losing out about Rs. 500 crore in revenues because of the dubbed serials. More than 6,000 families are dependent on TV industry and most of them are being pushed into penury due to the onslaught of these serials,” he explained. Each serial provides jobs to 50 families in 24 different crafts but when a serial is dubbed it provides jobs to just about five dubbing artistes, he said.
“We are not against airing these serials but local production units should not be victimised,” he said. TV has a great influence on the people’s minds and by airing dubbed serials directly, the elements that are alien to the State are being fed in to the minds,” he said. “Apart from revenue, we are loosing a generation as they will fail to recognise their own roots,” he said.
An artiste is paid about Rs. 350 per day of shooting and because of dubbed serials only 10 days of work per month is available, production assistant K. Ramu said. “If the serials are not dubbed, we will get at least 20 days of work,” he rued.
JAC resolved to organise various events to press for their demand of banning the dubbed serials by Telugu channels.
A rally will be organised on March 1 and JAC members will sit on relay hunger strike at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park from March 9.