South Indian producers end stir against DD; but firm on demands

MUMBAI: Independent producers associated to Doordarshan (DD) kendras in Bangalore, Tiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Chennai have finally ended their stir - but only after the pubcaster assured to look into their charter of demands, "at the earliest".

The producers began airing their shows on DD from 1 October.

South Indian DD Producers' Association spokesperson Shivanandan told, "Presently, we have resumed our shows on DD. But that doesn't mean, we have given up on our demands. We are still pursuing the issue with top Prasar Bharati members."

The producers' association has a string of meetings lined up with Prasar Bharati officials throughout this week. They are scheduled to meet the pubcaster's chairman MV Kamath tomorrow, and its financial controller Sunderasan on 11 October, Shivanandan confirmed.

The stir was called on 12 September by Banglore producers, who have bought airtime and are involved in marketing programmes on DD Bangalore. Later in the month, their counterparts in Thiruvanthapuram, Hyderabad and Chennai had joined the strike.

"Prasar Bharati has asked for '60-days time' to respond to our issues, but we have insisted that they resolve it within 15 days," Shivanandan said. Determined to leave no stone unturned, the association also met with Prasar Bharati marketing director Vijaya Chabbria and deputy directorate general N G Shrinivasan last week, Shivanandan revealed.

DD Bangalore director Venkatesh Sherval confirmed that the producers' strike had been called off. However, when asked if the producers' demands would be settled amicably he said, "We have our own procedures. Presently, we have forwarded the charter of demands to our directorate. We will have to wait and see what happens next." Sherval expects the issue to be sorted in "a month or two".

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