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article imageSlumdog Millionaire child actors underpaid, still in slums

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Feb 19, 2009 in Entertainment
The parents of the child actors who acted in Oscar nominated film "Slumdog Millionaire" have complained about their children being exploited and underpaid by the filmmakers. The kids aged 8, are still living in slums in Mumbai.
The film "Slumdog Millionaire" has grossed millions of dollars world wide and is a strong contender for Oscars with ten nominations. The film has won four Golden Globes also. But the life of it's child actors hasn't changed much. Their families are living in grinding poverty in slums in Bandra, Mumbai.
8- year old kids Rubina Ali and Azhauddin Ismail had played the characters of young Latika and Salim in the film's dramatic opening scenes. Rubina reportedly got around $ 700 while Azharuddin received around $2414 for their thirty days work. Besides, they receive $28 a month for books and food. The children may miss Sunday's Oscar ceremonies as their parents have withdrawn permission for them to travel to Los Angeles and asked for the air fares to be paid to them instead in cash.
Azharuddin's family's illegal hut was demolished by the local authorities and he now sleeps under a sheet of plastic tarpaulin. His father suffers from tuberculosis. His father said:
There is none of the money left. It was all spent on medicines to help me fight TB. They have told us there is a trust fund but we know nothing about it.
Similarly, Rubina's father broke his leg during the shooting of the film and is out of work now. He also complained that the filmmakers had done nothing for them.
It (the film)is making so much money and so much fame and the money they paid us is nothing. They should pay more.I just had no knowledge of what she should have been paid.
The director of the film Danny Boyle denied the allegations and said:
We have paid painstaking and considered attention to how Azhar and Rubina's involvement in the film could be of lasting benefit to them over and above the payment they received for their work. The children had never attended school, and in consultation with their parents we agreed that this would be our priority. Since June 2008 and at our expense, both kids have been attending school...Financial resources have been made available for their education until they are 18.
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