Eric Emms MD + [World]

Slumdogs no more

Two Indian child actors who helped the film Slumdog Millionaire to its Oscar success have been relocated from slums to new houses in Mumbai.

Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali, who played the youngest versions of characters Salim and Latika in the film, had been living in the same slums as they were before being discovered by casting agents. Ismail's family home was recently demolished, forcing him to live under a tarpaulin on a busy road.

It has been suggested by critics that the move, paid for by the Mumbai government, represents a publicity-grabbing political manoeuvre months ahead of India’s general election, but Amarjit Singh Manhas, chairman of a Mumbai housing association, has said, "Since the children have made the nation proud, they must be given free houses."

My opinion? Yes, it is a publicity stunt. But who bloody cares, eh?