IANS & iNDICA NEWS BUREAU
Ram Vriksha Gaur, who said he was one of the directors of the popular Hindi TV serial Balika Vadhu, is now selling vegetables in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, thanks to the nationwide lockdown for the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The nationwide lockdown, announced at four-hour notice by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, threw the country’s economy out of whack with India’s GDP contracting by a record 23.9 percent in the first quarter of the 2020-2021 financial year
Non-government surveys have pegged job loses running into millions. The government has refused to acknowledge the surveys, though official data on job losses has not been published.
“I had come to Azamgarh for the recce of a film,” Gaur told reporters.
“We were here when the lockdown was announced and then it was not possible to return. The project we were working on was stopped and the producer said it would take another year or more to get back to work. I then decided to take on my father’s business and started selling vegetables on a handcart. I am familiar with the business and have no regrets,” he added.
He recounted his tryst with Mumbai.
“I went to Mumbai in 2002 with the help of my friend and writer Shahnawaz Khan. I worked in the light department and then in the production department of TV serials. I became an assistant director in the production of many serials first, then worked as the episode director and unit director for Balika Vadhu.”
Ram Vriksha said he has worked as an assistant director with directors of films of Yashpal Sharma, Milind Gunaji, Rajpal Yadav, Randeep Hooda, Sunil Shetty.
He was all set to start work on a Bhojpuri film and then a Hindi film when the pandemic set in.
“I have my own house in Mumbai and I am confident that I will return one day. Till then, I am here doing what I can,” he said.