Child Star of "Slumdog Millionaire" Now Homeless

The Government in India has razed the home of one of the child stars of "Slumdog Millionaire" rendering the family homeless.

The mother of the child actor said that she did not know what would happen to her family now and that the help promised by local authorities and by the film's makers had not materialised.

The film made $200 million. Can't the movie's owners help out?

Film director Danny Boyle has strongly denied charges of exploitation. The film's makers have set up funds to pay for their education and they have been enrolled in school for the first time. They also recently announced that they will donate £500,000 to a charity which will help children living in the slums of Mumbai.

I hope Mr. Boyle and company decide to do more. What good is the charitable contribution if it doesn't help the child who helped make the movie a hit?

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    After "Slumdog Millionaire" won (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:41:08 PM EST
    02-25-2009 (20:00:32)

    After "Slumdog Millionaire" won for best picture and earned over $162 million worldwide, pictures of some of the stars living in squalor in the slums of India appeared online. But director Danny Boyle is now doing something about this.

    Boyle has revealed that he and producer Christian Colson will purchase $30,000 apartments for Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Rubina Ali and their families. Plus he has taken time out of his busy scheduled to spend some quality time with the young stars.

    "These are bricks and mortar flats. They will have electricity, running water and good sanitation," Boyle told Daily Mail. "They will still be close to their friends and extended family. Their community is very important to them, and they don't want to move too far away from them."

    Colson said: "The way Azharuddin is living now is substandard. We were told his home was razed a few months ago, and wired money over immediately. The family gave that money to a broker, who promised to find them a new place to live, but has simply disappeared with the cash. We realized just sending money is not the answer and have evolved our plans over the past few weeks. The families are not equipped to cope with that sort of money."

    He continued: "We can't buy the properties outright and give them to them, because in all honesty they will sell them. What we are doing is to acquire the flats for them, near the community where they fit in. They will be held in trusts and ownership will only be released to the parents when the kids turn 18 and have completed their education."

    The film company has also agreed to pay for a rickshaw driver to take the children to and from school every day for the next eight years - to ensure they attend.

    I'm reminded of the scene... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Thu May 14, 2009 at 12:29:28 PM EST
    in the movie when the boys are hustling the tourists at the Taj Mahal..."You wanted to see the real India!"

    Boyle and the film co. should part with some real cheese, no doubt...but lets not excuse the Indian govt. here.  Indian people living on Indian land...whats the problem?  Help the people or leave the people alone...don't demolish their homes.  

    what's the problem? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Thu May 14, 2009 at 01:16:56 PM EST
    a nation that seems to despise the bulk of its own people with a seemingly unrivaled passion.  which is not that much different than most nations who also despise their poor and downtrodden.  i am amazed at the survival instinct of living creatures, especially rational humans living in such squalor and hopelessness.  

    and charity, for the most part, is rich folks having parties to raise far less money than they could simply cut a check for -- but that would mean no dress up and celebrating your "concern" and "generosity".


    Me too bro... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu May 14, 2009 at 01:21:17 PM EST
    my lasting impression of the film was the awe I had for the survival skills and true grit of the street-kids of Mumbai, or any other impoverished area.  Total awe.

    There is acceptable housing in (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Thu May 14, 2009 at 04:56:15 PM EST
    India.  No need to "spirit" anyone out of the country.  I think the concept of the producers purchasing housing and holding it in trust for the kids when they reach age 18 or 21 is an acceptable solution.  But I would also ask the producers to add private school.

    This is anecdotal, but I really wonder (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Fri May 15, 2009 at 10:01:27 AM EST
    if the Indian government could even make a dent in the poverty if it went all out to try and alleviate it.  We visited a village in Rahjastan west of Jaisamler.  Huge signboards posted by the government urging use of condoms.  In the village, there were many, many small children and few adults. Not sure if the Indian government (either national or local) is constrained by politics from making other forms of birth control available.  I do know that, until Obama changed U.S. policy, our foreign aid could not include birth control.  

    And that's what hapens (none / 0) (#27)
    by cal1942 on Fri May 15, 2009 at 01:25:06 AM EST
    when a nation's economy is based on exports.

    The upper classes in those countries have no incentive to upgrade the lives of their own people.


    please tell me (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu May 14, 2009 at 12:58:46 PM EST
    its not the same one who was "sold" recently

    looks like a different (none / 0) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu May 14, 2009 at 01:02:43 PM EST

    Slumdog Millionaire child star Rubina Ali Qureshi 'sold to Arabs'


    Better to help more than just the (none / 0) (#6)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu May 14, 2009 at 02:29:40 PM EST
    child star.  What good is it to pluck a kid out of poverty and make his dreams come true while everyone else is trapped in the slums.  That just reinforces the "lottery mentality," and it's the same problem America's poor youth face as they dream of making millions in the NBA.  

    The huge disparity between the rich and the poor will continue to create problems for the world unless more egalitarian systems are implemented.  

    Did these child stars NOT get paid? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu May 14, 2009 at 02:49:57 PM EST
    for their roles in the film? I would have thought they could have moved their families out of the slums (and their friends) with what a child in a starring role would have gotten for doing a blockbuster film here....or, did the film makers take advantage?

    I would surmise that (none / 0) (#9)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:05:48 PM EST
    the movie was not produced under a SAG contract.

    They got paid more than the prevailing (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:16:53 PM EST
    wage for Mumbai slum kids.  

    I'm sure they did. (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:22:09 PM EST
    Perhaps, and probably (none / 0) (#11)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:19:42 PM EST
    But, they wouldn't have had to pay them much to greatly improve their lifestyles...heaven knows the children elevated the producer's financial well-being.

    I didn't see the movie...now I know I will neither buy nor rent the DVD or anything else these same people produce.


    But its an excellent film... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:25:32 PM EST
    buy a bootleg...that way you get to enjoy it and not support the producers.

    I'm more pissed at the Indian authorities myself...razing homes, wtf?  Even if its a shanty, its still a home.


    I have read in more than one place (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:27:42 PM EST
    the huge slum in Mumbai is very valuable land, as Mumbia does not have much undeveloped land remaining.  

    Kick out the proles... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:39:30 PM EST
    build a high-rise office building...the film covers it in fact, as you notice the construction and the changing landscape as the characters reach adulthood.

    Figures (none / 0) (#28)
    by cal1942 on Fri May 15, 2009 at 01:30:36 AM EST
    Sort of like disaster capitalism.  The disaster in this case appears to be deliberate displacement, a more efficient execution of disaster capitalism.  After all, why wait for a natural disaster.

    Actually, that way you get to enjoy it (none / 0) (#30)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri May 15, 2009 at 08:09:27 AM EST
    and steal from the producers and any/everyone else with downstream participation, like the writer(s), actors, etc.

    You're right of course... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Fri May 15, 2009 at 09:03:52 AM EST
    I bought a legit copy...its just a film I really enjoyed and I'm sure Inspector would too.

    The thing about SDM, (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:28:35 PM EST
    and any other similar low-budget-on-a-wing-and-a-prayer film, is that there's no way of knowing beforehand that it's going to make so much money. Or any money, actually.

    There are thousands of low-budg films made every year that barely make enough back to cover expenses. There are thousands more that don't cover production expenses.

    SDM hit the lottery. There's no way of knowing you have the winning numbers when you buy the ticket.


    My first thought was (none / 0) (#12)
    by Fabian on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:19:49 PM EST
    "Read the contract.".

    My other thought was "Didn't he cash in on any promotional contracts?".

    I don't know all the facts.  Heck, I barely know any of them.  It's hard for me to do anything but ask questions.


    Earlier BBC article: (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu May 14, 2009 at 02:36:36 PM EST
    Boyle et al. promised to provide housing, then local government stepped in and made promises which were apparently not fulfilled.


    Producers? (none / 0) (#17)
    by bocajeff on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:32:55 PM EST
    Why is this a producer problem? They contracted with a kid (I'm sure it was literally one out of a million) to play a part and the person got paid more for a job (and it was probably more than the prevailing wage). Not only that, the production also pumped in money to the local economy as well. Yes, the producer made money (a lot of it) and they are donating money to the poor.

    But this is INDIA's problem and not the producers. All this might do is make people LESS likely to work in India for fear it may bite them on their way out.

    Go to go now, my tech support person is online....

    "Slumdog" filmmakers say (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu May 14, 2009 at 03:34:52 PM EST
    "Slumdog" filmmakers say they've done their best to help.

    They set up a trust, called Jai Ho, after the hit song from the film, to ensure the children get proper homes, a good education and a nest egg when they finish high school.

    They also donated $747,500 to a charity to help slum kids in Mumbai.

    Producer Christian Colson has described the trust as substantial, but won't tell anyone how much -- not even the parents -- for fear of making the children vulnerable to exploitation.

    India (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jondee on Thu May 14, 2009 at 05:04:01 PM EST
    a country in which an upper caste constituency is allowed to vent with almost total impunity in the form of throwing acid in the faces of untouchable children and gang raping untouchable women and girls -- because Brahma, Vishnu, Ganeesh and Bhagavad Sri Boomaroom like it that way.

    What does anyone expect?


    A pretty broad brush, IMO. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Thu May 14, 2009 at 05:15:27 PM EST
    Warranted by events (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Thu May 14, 2009 at 05:17:46 PM EST
    enough to be broad, IMO.

    one scene saw the kids mom (none / 0) (#26)
    by Salo on Thu May 14, 2009 at 06:13:07 PM EST
    getting murdered by a hindu mob. It's all pretty much accurate.