Actor’s Fragile State Calls for Reflection.

It is a heartbreaking state where we see Pakistan’s veteran artists suffering from health concerns due to not being given the due attention and assistance they deserve.

We have been seeing the video of versatile drama actress ‘Naila Jaffery’ circulating around where she is pleading with the government to provide financial assistance for actors who have come to financial constraints and need medical attention immediately.

Naila is suffering from ovarian cancer. She informed a media outlet how she has been struggling with the financial bills for over six years. She was admitted into the hospital due to a rising infection and stated her condition was worsening with each passing day.

While she seems to be in good faith and spirits in the video, her fragile sight is quite obvious and many have been taken aback by how she came to such a state in the first place. Ever since her video has been circulating, netizens have been quick to judge and criticize how the entertainment world continues to project its hypocritical stance where it only looks at artists as projects- where when active and popular, they bring in the big bucks, however they are soon enough sidelined when they are not readily involved in dramas and channels.

The artist has been urging authorities to at least provide her with the royalties against her dramas which are being re-telecast as she has been part of a range of serials that continue to be broadcasted on the television. A royalty is basically the sum amount which is paid to an individual when their assets are being made use of; this can and is not limited to the rerun of dramas in which certain actors also performed, hence giving them the right to also be acknowledged financially for their efforts in the success of that certain play.

Naila’s plea was supported and shared by fellow artists who also spoke against this culture of not being recognized for their artistic capabilities, which now more than ever would have helped her plenty with her mounting hospital bills.

A similar stance was raised by actor Mikaal Zulfikar just a while back when he also spoke on how Pakistan is one of the few countries where royalties isn’t paid hindrance to, even when it is the basic right of the artists of such a vast and popular industry. Haseena Moin, the veteran storyteller who passed away a few days ago, was also under the same umbrella where she spoke on ways in which having the constant recognition for the efforts of artists enables them to provide their immense talent with complete dedication and pursuit.

While the Sindh Government had just announced that their Tradition, Tourism and Antiquities will bear all the expenses for her treatment, Naila’s vision on getting her rights the legal and authentic way, will allow for many artists from yesteryear to get their recognition, and are well-taken care of when they need the assistance. That is probably the least and basic understanding that can be adapted by Pakistan’s entertainment industry.

By Mehr Jan

Author is an Associate Editor for a leading weekly Sunday Magazine as well as a freelancer for a range of online publications. She pens with passion and feels there isn’t anything better than expressions through words. She aims to highlight all the good amidst the chaos surrounding us. She is currently residing in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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