Two years since the death of stunt artiste Abdul Sattar Munna, who passed away in a road accident while travelling to the set of a Malayalam film, his family recently received compensation of Rs 20 lakh.
The redressal is the result of Akshay Kumar’s initiative — the actor, celebrated for his action hero image, had launched an insurance scheme for stunt choreographers in 2017. Now, Aejaz Gulab, general secretary, Movie Stunt Artistes Association, has sought the aid of the superstar once again to secure insurance for senior stuntmen.
“Two years ago, getting compensation of Rs 20 lakh for a stuntman’s family was impossible. But Akshay sir stepped in and procured accident insurance policies and mediclaim insurance for the 550 stuntmen registered with us. He even pays our premium,” says Gulab, adding that now, it’s time to direct their attention on the senior members in the fraternity. “Insurance companies only cover those between 18 to 55 years of age. The benefit is not extended to those above the age bracket.”
As of today, Gulab informs, Bollywood has close to 50 action choreographers who are older than 55 years of age. “If something were to happen to any of them at work, we wouldn’t be able to raise enough money via donations to support their families. In most cases, they are the sole breadwinners in the family. It’s a double whammy for them — while the younger stuntmen are receiving cashless treatment, the senior ones are either letting go of good work since they don’t have medical cover, or going to work with risk looming large over them.”
He appraised Kumar of the situation in a meeting on Friday. The superstar has promised to put his might behind the cause. “I have spoken to Akshay sir. After he got insurance for our community, we are hoping for another miracle.”