'Slumdog' kids slumming it after Oscar success

Director Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson took home eight Oscars plus millions in box office revenues for “Slumdog Millionaire”, the movie depicting life in the slums of India. Azharuddim Ismail and Rudina Ali, 10 and 9 years old, received school tution and reportedly got paid 1,700 and 500 pounds respectively,  — a veritable pittance compared to the big money the movie racked in. The media reported that the head honchos set-up trust funds for the two tykes, but they don't kick in until they're 18!

Azha Ismail AP Photo

One week after the Oscars, the red carpet, parties and a trip to Disneyland, the two Hollywood newcomers went back to the crude and rough reality of their home country, India. The effects of their super fast rise to fame, and the visit to the land of plenty, took an immediate toll on them. Azha was photographed being hit by his father, who has Tuberculosis, for not wanting to talk with reporters in exchange for money. The Huffington Post shows Rubina still wearing her Oscar gown, and said she wanted a real bed to sleep in (referring to the hotel bed she slept in on her trip to America), and to live where the air doesn't smell like poop.

Rubina and Azha back in the slums in India Photo Huffington Post

It's been a scant two weeks since the accolades poured in for “Slumdog Millionaire”, but for these children, having been yanked out of dire poverty, and thrust into the highest level of luxury and fame seen around the world, the wealth is not reaching them fast enough. And it remains to be seen if it will.

“It's a really difficult situation that's spiraling out of control,” Colson tells EW. “We've had to constantly reevaluate the challenge of: If you want to lift people out of poverty, how the hell do you do that?” “Nothing would be easier than to throw money at this,” says Colson. “But we felt from the beginning that that would be irresponsible.”

Is it really that difficult to set-up a bank account, and deposit a fixed amount of money each month for the two kids and their families to live properly and secure the children's well-being? Frankly, it has taken two weeks too long for positive results about Azha and Rubina's present condition to show up in the media. Third World issues will continue to preclude these countries from jumping into industrialized status. But in the very short term, Boyle and Colson need to get the wheels in motion pronto, and do the right thing for these child actors.

I don't think they need to address the country's problems and try helping everyone there right away…for now, just the suffering-duo who helped Boyle and Colson become household names.

Read a related post “Livin la Vida 'Slumdog'” at www.TheWrap.com

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