Hundreds of Pratyushas travel aboard the tinsel town train everyday, some reach to queue up outside the TV production houses for hours and days to get one role, some get, few get good ones, a number of them shoot to fame only to inspire many others to follow, and many enter into endless oblivion.
Competition is tough. Only one out of a thousand Pratyushas bags Balika Vadhu role and rises to instant fame. As her heart beat goes up and down with fame scale and the volatile TRPs, is she equipped to handle the after fame stress and struggle? Many of them end in depression. Even top Bollywood stars go through the process. Yet, only bold and beautiful Deepika Padukone had courage to speak about her depression she has fought and won over with the love and support of her family. But, many people still don’t understand the intensity of and the implications of what depression can do to an individual.
Dr. Saloni Singh, Internationally certified Life Coach throws light on depression, “Depression is a serious condition…whatever the reasons may be. One should not underestimate the seriousness of depression. It sucks a person’s energy, optimism, and can distort their perception of life and themselves. Most importantly, depressed one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will. Awareness, acceptance, love and consistent support from family and professionals is essential. If it can be recognised at an earlier stage by family and the person is supported well, it can be easily treated. As a friend or relative of a depressed person, It can be extremely draining for you as well. You need to understand that you don’t blame yourself for this. Do accept that you can not fix the problem for them, rather encourage them to seek help and right treatment. Depression is terrible and relentless, don’t ever ignore!”
Death of Pratyusha Banejee as of more actors in recent past bring to fore important issues of the stressed lives of small screen actors yet again. Should the industry not share the responsibility and provide a special cell or service to the help member of their community handle stress and depression? Television is a very unorganised sector when it comes to employment and job security. Can they work on some employment scheme or plans or some particular payment plans for existing actors to ensure their basic survival? Also, many of the suicides have relationship angles. For example, recently Jia Khan suicide has well reasoned interactions with her relationship with Suraj Pancholi, son of Aditya Pancholi. Many friends and sources are also hinting towards Pratyusha’s abused relationship with Rahul Raj.
We talked to Aruna Mukim, member censor board of India and chairperson of Aman Uday, NGO on what she thinks on the issue. “Whenever someone commits suicide Whichever sector he or she is from whether film or TV or any other sector, obviously one is already victim of depression. That doesn’t mean there should be a separate bench for people for TV or film industry workers and actors. In this era of growing materialism, we want to have everything to show off to the world whether we want that or not. As far as Pratyusha is concerned, she had already got lot of fame at a very young age. So, if just lack of money is the reason for depression, then i think it is not proper to blame TV or Film fraternity”, she remarked.
“Though a system could be worked out where people can receive mental health support, but linking depression to just TV and film industry may not be right. There are so many films and tv shows that have talked about the challenges of trying their luck in the industry, Luck by Chance and fashion for example. Yes, there should be attempts to create more awareness about the real struggle, risks and challenges of working in this line”, suggests Babeetta Saxena, image consultant and director, Lets Give Back, an event management company who also trains at Marwah Studio, Noida.
She wasn’t happy. Pratyusha didn’t leave any suicide note as she decided to hang herself in her Kandivali residence. Neither she appear weak to any of her friends and colleagues. Pratyusha was not the kind of weak person. She was too strong and happy to commit suicide maintain friends and neighbors. But, one may look calm and composed on the exterior and still may have lot of turmoil inside. A person who commits suicide doesn’t do it at the spur of a moment, but plans it over the period of time having felt helpless and lonely.
Yes, depression can happen to anyone anywhere. We agree. But, don’t you think industry owes at least a helpline for actors of workers of whatever category who have been associated with the industry?
What do you think? We are looking forward to your comments!