For radio jockey, senior theatre actor and presenter, Roshan Abbas, theatre is best experienced when you are “seeing the white of your audiences’ eyes”. According to Abbas, the experience of live theatre or an event doesn’t get translated on the virtual platform.

“The shared laughter and emotions build a layer of support for the performer which helps build the performance further. I think for many artists this has become the challenge. I miss live interaction and the shared emotions. Nothing can fill that gap,” Abbas tells IANSlife.

The veteran– who came up with virtual interactive theatre called ‘Lockdown Love’ just a few weeks after the 2020 lockdown began — is also the President of EEMA (Event and Entertainment Management Association) India.

Asked how he has felt the impact of the lockdown on the live events space, Abbas says that event spaces are running empty and there is a whole cost of infrastructure behind them, salaries of employees, a bond broken with a paying audience. “Unlike many countries I still haven’t seen any major support given to our community. We are not just event planners but an ecosystem of production, talent, venue, agencies, artists, technical directors etc.”

According to the events body spokesperson, there are nearly 10 million people who have been affected by the locking-down of the sector. “The ever-growing industry witnessed a downfall. Enterprises, entrepreneurs, agency personnel, daily wage staff and many more have landed in huge losses.”

Along with talks with goverment representatives, Abbas says they have been focussing on demonstrating how live events can take place keeping all precautions and protocols in place. He looks forward to the sector re-opening in the Unlock phases.

“During the current pandemic we have suffered losses of both lives and livelihood. Yet we have stood by the nation in this hour of need. Amidst the national distress, event managers proudly known to provide quick solutions with limited resources have proactively stepped up to support humanity. In this second wave of the pandemic, the event community took charge and came to the forefront by providing help and assistance to the people with their genuine and planned efforts,” he says.

The apex events body has come forward with voluntary support for the management of Sant Nirankari Covid facility Burari and Rakabganj Gurdwara, along with helpline support and aiding in launching other Covid care initiatives.

“..the event management community is best at crisis management, planning, innovation and execution. While our work is suffering, yet we’ve proactively come up with sources to help masses. We empathise with humanity and we feel that the nation needs us now and with our efforts we shall aim to serve them,” concludes Abbas.