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Slumdog Millionaire

, Is Slumdog Millionaire worth the praise?

 
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> Slumdog Millionaire, Is Slumdog Millionaire worth the praise?
Sharmila-Sweet
post Oct 30 2009, 10:24 AM
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'Slumdog' kids' truancy threatens their trust fund



By ERIKA KINETZ (AP)
MUMBAI, India — The two child stars of 'Slumdog Millionaire' are at risk of losing their monthly stipend and their trust fund if they don't start attending school, a trustee for the fund said Thursday.
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 11, and Rubina Ali, 10, shot to fame after starring in the Oscar-winning movie.
But these days, Azhar is only showing up at school 37 percent of the time, and Rubina has only a 27 percent attendance rate at her school, the trustee said.
"It's pathetic," said Noshir Dadrawala, who helps administer the Jai Ho trust established by the filmmakers to provide an education, living allowance and housing for the young stars, who both grew up in Mumbai's real-life shantytowns.
Azhar played the role of the young Salim, the main character whose childhood in Mumbai's slums helps him win fortune and love through a TV quiz show as an adult. Rubina played the role of female lead Latika, as a child.
Dadrawala blamed the children's busy schedule for their chronic truancy.
"They are constantly going to Paris and Cochin and Chennai," he said. "That's fine, but go over the weekend, not at the sacrifice of school."
The children's parents said the absences were due to deaths in the family and other problems and promised to get the kids to school from now on.
The children attended a tea party at a Mumbai hotel Thursday afternoon. A friend of the family said it was a school holiday.
"Slumdog" director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson said in a statement that the children's families "need to honor their part of the bargain."
"We are disappointed that Azhar and Rubina's school attendance remains patchy. We have urged both families to honor their commitment to ensure regular school attendance," they said. The filmmakers were in Mumbai to discuss future film projects and charity works.
Dadrawala said the trust decided that if the children do not get their attendance above 70 percent they will lose their monthly stipend of about $120. If they fail to graduate, they will forfeit a lump sum payment set aside by the filmmakers to help the children, who grew up in one of Mumbai's more wretched slums, get a start in life.
The filmmakers have declined to reveal the amount in the trust for fear of exposing the families to exploitation.
Azhar's mother, Shameen Ismail, said her son had been truant over the past two months because he was inconsolable after his father died in September from tuberculosis.
"He would cry often, so I kept him home from school for a while," she said.
She promised his attendance would improve.
"As long as I'm alive, I will make sure my son gets an education," she said.
Rubina's father, Rafiq Qureshi, said the girl was not in school because her slum shanty was destroyed and she was cut on the leg by a piece of glass.
"It will not happen next time," he said.
In July, Azhar moved out of a metal shack in the slums and into a $50,000 one-bedroom apartment that the filmmakers bought for his family in Mumbai.
Azhar's father remained in the slum because, his mother said, he did drugs and she didn't not want him in the new home.
The trust was also searching for a house for Rubina's family, but her father said the budget was not enough to cover the cost and he was hoping the state government could make up the difference.
The new homes are to be transferred into the children's names after they turn 18 provided they graduate high school.

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Sharmila-Sweet
post Oct 30 2009, 10:25 AM
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Danny Boyle puts a cap on kids' demand
Soumyadipta Banerjee / DNAFriday, October 30, 2009 2:24 IST Email

Mumbai: Rubina will get to act in another Danny Boyle film, but she will not get any more money. Nor will Azhar be 'gifted' a small car by 'Danny uncle'.

The Slumdog Millionaire director told his favourite child stars on Thursday that they should not expect any more money, or gifts, from the Jai Ho trust. It has already provided them with the maximum they deserve, he said.

During his meeting with the trustees and Rubina's family at JW Mariott, Boyle supported a motion, which stated that the grant of Rs25 lakh given to Rubina will be passed on to another charity if her family fails to buy an apartment for her by January 2010.

"Boyle has agreed with us that the grants for Azhar and Rubina, or any other child actor supported by the trust, cannot be increased further. He too feels that Rubina does not deserve any more than the Rs 25 lakh given to her to buy an apartment in Mumbai," said Noshir H Dadrawala, a member of the Jai Ho trust.

Azhar's demand of a small car -- he had said he was "scared of travelling in auto-rickshaw" -- too was rejected. "The trust is providing a daily allowance to the children. It includes travelling allowance. There is no question of increasing that," Dadrawala said.
Boyle said the meeting passed off peacefully. "We spoke in details. I think we have mutually agreed on all the points. They (Rubina and Azhar) are kids, and obviously do not know what is best for them. We have to show them the way," he said.

The kids, however, did not return empty-handed. Boyle asked the trust to provide them and their families with mediclaim policies -- a gift particularly for Rubina, who has just recovered from malaria.

"Danny promised that my daughter will be working with him in his next film. That means a lot to me," said Rafiq, Rubina's father. He added he would soon approach chief minister Ashok Chavan for a flat. "I will ask him to help me get a flat of Rs25 lakh."



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Sharmila-Sweet
post Oct 30 2009, 10:27 AM
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Danny and the producers have done MORE THAN ENOUGH for these 2 kids and they keep making unreasonable demands on them instead of being grateful for what they have already got. There is absolutely no need for us to feel sorry for them because they are exploiting Danny's generosity to their own selfish advantage. No other producers would have done anything more than pay for their acting and here they are behaving like royalty and expecting Danny to fulfill their every demand for life ! They should understand that there are millions of other slum children who don't get even 1% of what they have already got and still they continue to be ungrateful and keep demanding more and more

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