This vi­tal seg­ment of Bol­ly­wood will now get an in­sur­ance scheme, some­thing it never had be­fore

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Prashant Singh prashant.singh@htlive.com

[He] has turned the im­pos­si­ble into pos­si­ble. We don’t know what magic wand Ak­shayji has used. We can’t thank him enough EJAZ GU­LAB, STUNT­MAN

Ak­shay Ku­mar has al­ways main­tained that “he is a stunt­man first and then an ac­tor”. Who can dis­pute that, since he does most of his own hair-rais­ing stunts? Now, as a mark of a re­spect to the pro­fes­sion­als who add so much to our moviewatch­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Ak­shay has launched a spe­cial in­sur­ance ini­tia­tive for them. “It’s go­ing to be a first-of-it­skind stuntmen (and stunt­women) in­sur­ance sys­tem in India. The scheme is the brain­child of Ak­shay and Dr Ra­makanta Panda (who op­er­ated on ex-Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh in 2009),” says an in­sider. Ak­shay is an ac­tion man off-screen, too. In the late ’80s, he got a black belt in Taek­wondo be­fore learn­ing mar­tial arts in Bangkok, where he also trained in Muay Thai. Upon his re­turn to Mum­bai, he taught mar­tial arts be­fore be­com­ing a Bol­ly­wood star. Even his movie jour­ney started as an ac­tion hero with Sau­gandh (1991) and the Khi­ladi se­ries. The source says, “Ak­shay strongly be­lieves that stuntmen (and women) work very hard and take lifethreat­en­ing risks, and it’s high time they got in­sured.”

Un­til now, there was no such in­sur­ance scheme for stuntmen in any film in­dus­try, in­clud­ing Tamil, Tel­ugu and Kan­nada cinema.

A year ago, Ak­shay wrote an open let­ter to stuntmen. In it, he said: “My chil­dren still have their fa­ther in one piece be­cause there is al­ways some­one pre­pared to take the fall that I may not be able to.”

The new in­sur­ance scheme was in plan­ning stage for four­five months. It’ll cover 380 stuntmen (and women) of Bol­ly­wood aged 18-55 years.

Ejaz Gu­lab, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Movie Stunt Artist As­so­ci­a­tion, thanked the star for this.

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