'Slumdog' kids back in their slums

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Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail
Mumbai, Feb 27: The posh and glittery evening of Oscars in Hollywood whisked away on Sunday, Feb 22. The slum kids of Mumbai, Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali who have acted in the eight Oscar winning film, 'Slumdog Millionaire' were at the Oscars getting celebrity treatment. On Thursday, Feb 26 they were back in their homes sleeping in Mumbai.

Azharuddin sleeps under a plastic sheet in a shantytown beside a railway track, where the smell of urine and cow dung lingers in the air. Rubina sleeps with her parents and siblings in a tiny shack beside an open drain.

The little artistes were handpicked by the Producers of 'Slumdog Millionaire' for parts in the movie, which showcases the story of rags-to-riches of a young boy who grew up in a Mumbai slum.

Following the film's success around the globe, the producers decided to include the two young actors in the movie's Oscar experience.

The kids had their first flight experience when they were flown to Los Angeles, California, to attend the awards ceremony. The highlight - a trip to Disneyland. "I loved all the rides, especially the fast ones," said Rubina.

Danny Boyle, Director of 'Slumdog Millionaire' said that they have decided on an education plan for the kids. "We put them in school, a very good school, which they're paid for to stay in until they're 18. If they stay in school until they're 18, a substantial sum of money is released to them then, which will effectively change their lives for the better," Boyle said.

The neighbours of Rubina and Azharuddin wished for a better life for the kids after this major achievement.


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