The dwarf artists of Bollywood have reached out to actor Sonu Sood and Salman Khan for help as they have been out of work since the first lockdown. Dipak Soni, who has worked with actors like Akshay Kumar, said, “I did reach out to Sonu Sood and got a call from his office but they thought I wanted help but I told them my colleagues needed it and if can be done and I am waiting from their support. Another colleague of mine has spoken to Salman Khan’s Being Human Foundation; we are now awaiting a reply for the same. Although about 8 to 10 members receive Rs 1500 from them”.
Soni had also reached out to Aarif Khan of Lookalike Associaton who had organised ration kits for about 35 dwarf artistes who live in Mumbai. Aarif Khan said, “Actor Raju Srivastav and Suhail Khandwani, who is the trustee of Haji Ali and Mahim Dargah provided us with ration kits which we distributed to dwarf artistes”.
There are about 70 dwarf artists in Bollywood and most of them are dependent on acting and live shows. Soni said, “Most of them are sitting at home or there are some who have started a pan shop or doing some independent work to sustain themselves. Only a few of them come from secure family backgrounds and have support”.