Zahid Shaikh, of the CDA, when contacted, confirmed the same, adding, “Rahul Shetty has sent ration kits to our members. We are really happy that Sonu Sood sir has come forward to help dancers who have been out of work since last March”. When prodded if dancers got work after the first unlock in the country, Shaikh revealed, “Only about 35 per cent of the members got work because, as you know, we dancers work in crowds and the government pandemic SOPs prevented our members from getting work. Just before the second lockdown, there was a requirement for ‘Brahmastra‘ but then they asked us to reduce the number of dancers from 200 to 20 and even that is on hold now”.
For Rahul Shetty, the mission to help people started when he helped a maid from his building, after which he posted online asking people who needed help to reach out to him. Soon, he was inundated with requests from dancers for help. “I decided to keep one point contact for them and it was CDA so I regularly send ration kits to the office and dancers collect it from there. Dancers should always have a backup plan and have something going to sustain themselves in these tough times. I hope going forward people understand and plan things for the future,” he said.
The CDA has about 800 members. But with no work, quite a few of them are now working in courier service, selling vegetables, working as security guards or have joined telemarketing agencies.