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Slumdog kids exploited?

January 27, 2009 15:08 IST

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Slumdog Millionaire might have won accolades the world over but parents of two children starring in the rags-to-riches tale set in Mumbai [Images] have accused the producers of exploitation, the Telegraph reported.

Slumdog Millionaire [Images] director Danny Boyle [Images] has claimed that he had set up trust funds for the education of Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail who play the character of young Latika and Salim. However, their parents claim that they received less
than what many Indian domestic servants get, the newspaper said.

Parents of the eight-year-olds said that both children now face an uncertain future in Mumbai's slums while the film has won four Golden Globes awards, and is nominated for 10 Oscars.

However, a spokesman for Fox Searchlight, the film's distributors in US, told the newspaper, "The welfare of Azhar and Rubina has always been a top priority for everyone involved with Slumdog Millionaire. For 30 days of work, the children were paid three times the average local annual adult salary.

"Last year after completing filming, they were enrolled in school for the first time and a fund was established for their future welfare, which they will receive if they are still in school when they turn 18," he said. 

The spokesman, however, declined to disclose the actual sum.

Rubina reportedly got around $ 700 while Azharuddin received around $ 16,000. Both children study in a local school and receive $ 28 per month for books and food.

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