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Slumdog Makers Start Fund For Child Poverty in Mumbai

The makers of Slumdog Millionaire have set up a fund of almost $1 million to support child poverty programs in Mumbai, India. Those behind the Oscar-winning film, which made more than $400 million worldwide, have been accused of exploiting the people who live in Mumbai's slums for their own gain.

While the child actors from the movie got to travel to Hollywood for the Oscars, neighbors cheered them on in their hometown slums. Those images revealed overwhelming joy, but also the poverty that would await the adorable stars when the magic was over.

Aware of this heartbreaking reality, the filmmakers set up private trust funds and bought new homes for Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the two child actors who lived in the slums.

But two happy endings weren't enough for those who considered the film poverty porn, or a film that exploits the misery of millions for the enjoyment of a privileged audience. To see what some Mumbai residents thought about all this,


Residents of the slums were among those who considered the film exploitative. Many poor Indians protested outside actors' homes, calling the movie and the term "slumdog" offensive.

The new fund may silence critics, but it could also be considered unsubstantial compared to the overall profits reaped by the film. Then again, do these filmmakers have any obligation to address the problem of poverty in India?


Join The Conversation
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
its not the film makers' job to fix the entire indian economy. its their job to make a spectacular movie that makes the average person AWARE of the problem and maybe to put some pressure on the indian government to fix the problem, or at least to try.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Ever since I saw the 2004 Oscar winning documentary "Born into Brothels" which follows the children of prostitutes born in the slums of India who were given cameras to document their own lives, I have been giving money to the organization "kids with cameras". They help educate these kids, give them a creative outlet to express themselves, and ultimately put thier futures in their own hands.
Countess827 Countess827 8 years
Indians are very caught up in image, and many of them didn't like this movie because they thought it portrayed India's image as poor and impoverished. My parents are Indian, and they enjoyed the movie, contrary to many of their friends who thought it portrayed a poor image. This movie showed the truth about India in its current state. The deep contrast between the booming economic industry and the people that are being left behind. That divide is hard to fix, but it sounds like the creators of Slumdog Millionaire are working to improve that divide and you can only give them credit for that.
Jmartens Jmartens 8 years
So unfair. The movie has been an advocate for support of the poor in India. I don't know what else could have such a broad reach other than this great movie.
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
I don't see how this is "exploiting" the poor, if anything this is going to bring more awareness to many people who know nothing about their sad lives, and the people in the slums may get more help.
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 8 years
I think the filmmakers have addressed the issue of poverty in India by making a movie like this in the first place and using people from the slums. There's obviously some good that has come out of this if there is even one person who got a house out of the slums & money for education, healthcare, & other life needs. I can also see how it exploits the poor, but I also think the only way we're going to solve problems like this is bringing awareness to wealthy countries that can help.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that what they are doing is the right thing and a nice thing. i feel like everyone wants to make this movie seem like it's so unfair to so many, but i hate to say it, they all knew what they were getting into when they filmed it and the kids were given a chance to do something that they've never done before and probably never would. it's life experience and that's something to be proud of. regardless - i'm happy to hear about this child fund that they are setting up - it's a good thing and hopefully a LOT of people will benefit
demi-serena demi-serena 8 years
ah, who are we to judge.of course i think 1 mill is great but just let me repeat this from the good book:“it is easier for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven” GIVE IT ALL AWAY
janneth janneth 8 years
I suppose $1 million goes a long way in India.
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