In Focus

Colaba Gas Service Hosts 'Unsung' Screenings

A Draft Colaba Correspondent

Since 21 November 2020, it has been a full house at Colaba Gas Service's office in Third Pasta Lane on weekends. Why, despite the string of screenings by invite only, the staff, till date, waits in anticipation. After a few special screenings of 'Unsung - The Film' arranged for the agency personnel by owner and entrepreneur Rashida Amir and organised by Team DraftCraft, the film, a collaborative production of DraftCraft Films and The Draft that captures the selfless dedication of COVID Warriors across India, is being screened for select private individuals invited specially, only on weekends. The screenings are part of #TheUnsungProject to laud the contributions of those whose work throughout the lockdown would otherwise go ... unsung. 

THROUGH THIN TOO: Rashida Amir's husband Firoz Amir ensured there were no hitches with regard to transport
for his wife throughout the lockdown as he'd drive her diligently to and back from work daily

Each time, at the venue, the anticipation turns into excitement as the attendees grab spots or chairs for the best vantage points to watch the film. Once the film starts, the faint murmurs give way to sighs of appreciation, happiness and gratitude as the attendees watch among themselves and scores of others lining up to be profiled for their contributions during the lockdown.

"It always feels good when your work and that of your people gets acknowledged and appreciated," offers Rashida Amir. Recalling the time when the lockdown was implemented on 25 March 2020, Ms Amir says, "We were all a little scared and skeptical about the future and how we'll manage our operations. It was a completely new situation that was evolving fast. But, my staff including the office staff, the delivery men and the mechanics were extremely cooperative and diligent throughout the crisis."

TOGETHER: Rashida Amir with her staff at the screening of 'Unsung - The Film'

And, to support Rashida for the tremendous effort and team work during the unprecedented crisis, husband Firoz Amir stays present for screenings too. Rashida speaks of her team with distinct pride. And why not, when "not a single staff member, including the women, took a day's leave even mentioned of a break throughout the lockdown." They continued to work, without a break even battling their families' apprehensions and, for six months together, delivered gas cylinders to households "without any delay." 

In fact, in the absence of public transportation, some of her staff members even "commuted on their own vehicles from far off places such as Dahisar, Thane, Kalyan to Colaba to be on time for work." Cooking gas is an essential commodity and during the lockdown, the fear psychosis led to an abrupt increase in demand. "We had to work anyhow even when majority stayed indoors," says Rashida.

SELFLESS: Colaba Gas Service personnel watch a segment in 'Unsung - The Film' profiling gas delivery workers

"It was late afternoon and I was cooking dinner for my family when I ran out of cooking gas. It was just a couple of days after the lockdown was announced. I had no clue if my regular gas agency would be open now. Thankfully it was. Not only did they deliver the cylinder on time, they made sure the surge in demand was met appropriately," says Colaba resident Gita Pawar who attended a screening of 'Unsung - The Film' at Colaba Gas Service to express her gratitude to these essential, unsung workers.

Rashida recollects the "great team effort" her people put up and ensured "zero customer complaints" even spoke reams about an unending array of customers who were "grateful and appreciative." Despite the hurdles that included wary customers, quarantined buildings and societies, the gas delivery personnel worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown without worrying about the risks of contracting the virus themselves.

PURPOSEFUL: Rashida Amir and husband Firoz Amir talk about the film to attendees during a screening

"#TheUnsungProject is a commendable venture undertaken by DraftCraft International in conjunction with The Draft and DraftCraft Films to highlight the work undertaken from the service providers at grassroots and those working around the clock on Ground Zero despite the fear of contracting the virus themselves. The work of these Unsung Warriors otherwise, would have gone unnoticed," offers Rashida.

This story is part of #TheUnsungProject series. 'Unsung - The Film' captures the selfless dedication of those Indians whose contributions during COVID-19 times, would otherwise go ... unsung. The film was created by DraftCraft Films in conjunction with The Draft. Team Unsung spread across 20 States, 5 Union Territories and over 100 Cities and Villages in India, to document stories of hope, hard work and dedication of thousands, in the time of COVID-19. Watch the film here.