Stunt artists and choreographers should be accorded as much respect as heroes at every award ceremony, actor Akshay Kumar said on Monday.
Introducing a special insurance scheme for all stunt artistes working in Hindi film industry, he said: "I am a stuntman first before an actor. For 10 years, I worked as a stuntman in Hindi film industry before getting the opportunity of acting. So I know how stuntmen risks their lives to earn their bread. I know what it takes to risk their lives to entertain us. So I think they should get equal respect even at the award shows for their work."
The actor along with renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr Ramakanta Panda of Asia Heart Institute, announced the insurance scheme that covers around 380 stunt artists between the age of 18 to 55 with a death compensation of Rs 10 lakhs.
Emphasising the importance of the insurance, Panda said: "Akshay came to me saying how could he help these people who are doing stunts in films and get injured and need treatment. He asked me if I can reserve some beds for them.
"Since they (stunt artists) work across the country, I thought insurance would be a better help. So we manage to collaborate with the insurance company to provide the facilities," he said.