Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Slumdog millionaire orphaned

The child actor who acted in the movie Slumdog Millionaire lost his father to tuberculosis on September 4, 2009, according to BBC. Azaharuddin Ismail, 10, until very recently lived in a makeshift shack in an informal settlement in Mumbai.

Even after being a star of an Oscar winning movie, Azharuddin saw his family's shelter demolished by the municipal authorities because it violated some zoning bylaws. Danny Boyle, the director of Slumdog Millionaire, came to the rescue of Azharuddin and the other child star Rubina Ali, and relocated them to more settled housing in Mumbai.

Azharuddin's father was beaten up by the police when he resisted the municipal workers busy demolishing his family's shelter. He died of TB leaving Azharuddin and the rest of the family financially vulnerable.

Azharuddin and Rubina Ali may escape the ills of poverty as there is talk of another movie in which they may act along with Anthony Hopkins. This will help the two households improve their finances.

But can you imagine the perils this child would have faced had Azharduuduin was just another 10-year old resident of Dharvi, Mumbai, who just lost his father, the sole bread-winner of the family, to TB.

There is a need to think of assisting all Azharuddins and Rubinas in a sustainable manner. We risk leaving millions behind in South Asia if we were to abandon Azharduddins and Rubinas in our quest to succeed.

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