The newly-elected office-bearers of South Indian Artistes’ Association (Nadigar Sangam), including actors Vishal, Karthi, Nasser, and politician Poochi Murugan of the Pandavar Ani, have stated that their main focus is to complete building their new office that has been stalled for years.
On Sunday, the long-awaited counting of the ballots took place for the association’s elections that were held in 2019. The Pandavar Ani, led by Nasser, emerged victorious and the actor was announced as the organisation’s new Chairperson, with Vishal taking on the General Secretary role, and Karthi that of the Treasurer. Poochi Murugan and Karunaas were elected as Vice-Chairpersons.
Addressing the media at a press meet on Tuesday, the newly elected office-bearers said that their main focus was to complete constructing their office building in Chennai. The construction began in April 2017 and was scheduled to be finished by the end of the three-year term of Nasser, Vishal, and Karthi in October 2018. However, the construction faced delays due to encroachment cases filed in court and the building still remains incomplete.
“Our intention is to turn everyone’s attention towards the Nadigar Sangam building. It won’t just be a regular building, but will be like a heritage, cultural centre. We are going ahead with achieving that,” Vishal stated on Tuesday.
Nasser added, “We have assumed our positions today and our main focus is the building. It has withstood different weathers, time, and the costs have increased as well. As it is our primary focus, we have been laying out the plans for the budget and working on its logistics. We will begin with the work soon.”
Vishal revealed that 60% of the construction has been completed, but the budget has risen by 30%, owing to stalling of the work for nearly 2.5 years. About Rs 20-22 crores would be needed, he added.
RockFort Entertainment announced during the press meet that it would contribute a sum of Rs 5 lakh for the construction.
Vishal also spoke about plans to use the income from the completed building to aid the lives of theatre artists who have been affected by the pandemic.
Treasurer Karthi said that they would need at least three months to make a plan for the 1,35,000 square feet building, given the pandemic situation. “There are no workers and the entrance is yet to be finished. The election had stalled the work. We need to get the necessary workforce again as well as the funds for it,” the actor said.
When asked about the organisation’s approach to problems faced by actors during the theatrical releases of their films, such as PMK’s recent appeal to theatres to not screen Suriya’s Etharkkum Thunindhavan, Karthi, Suriya’s younger brother, said that the association will extend legal support in such cases.
The office bearers mentioned that legal aid will also be extended to actors who are subject to defamatory remarks in YouTube videos.