Slumdog Millionaire's Child Actors Still Live in 'Grinding Poverty' in Mumbai

Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, two of the child actors in "Slumdog Millionaire," are still living in the slums of Mumbai, despite the film's $14 million budget and worldwide success. Ali earned 500 British pounds ($710) for one year's work and Ismail earned 1700 pounds ($2414), "less than many Indian domestic servants":

Both children were found places in a local school and receive £20 a month for books and food. However, they continue to live in grinding poverty and their families say they have received no details of the trust funds set up in their names. Their parents said that they had hoped the film would be their ticket out of the slums, and that its success had made them realise how little their children had been paid.


Ismail is in fact "worse off" now, as his "family's illegal hut was demolished by the local authorities and he now sleeps under a sheet of plastic tarpaulin." Ali lives nearby -- in a "hut." A Fox Searchlight spokesperson said he is "proud" of their treatment and boasted, "For 30 days work, the children were paid three times the average local annual adult salary."

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