Slumdog Millionaire Kid Goes Homeless

I don’t think i need to introduce the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” to you. Few Oscars awards to it’s name, this movie has been super hit across the globe. I personally believe that’s not entirely true. People here in India do not find the movie too great that it could win an Oscar. A slumdog guy making into riches is not a unique concept. There are hundreds of movies in Bollywood that goes on the same concept and many of them actually are better and much more popular than Slumdog Millionaire. However, I do agree that the innovative idea wherein a guy becomes a millionaire via an actual reality TV show was a new concept, but that does not make it a great movie. I think the Americans and Britishers were overwhelmed with the slums and poverty shown in the movie, which is not a rare sight in India, so that bring in the differences between my opinion and those who think it was worthy of an Oscar. Still, i do not want to take any credits from it. It was a good movie and am proud of it that it won Oscars making it the first Indian movie to get such prestigious award.

This however is not the reason i wrote this post. The title of this post, most probably gave you a different picture in mind and that’s what this post is about. If i mention the name, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, that probably won’t ring in your minds. He was one of the child actors that acted in the movie. Probably the picture beside this post will give you a clear indication of who he really is.

Mohammed Ismail And Rest Of Crew of Slumdog Millionaire
Mohammed Ismail And Rest Of Crew of Slumdog Millionaire

Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail’s life never took a drastic change after the megahit Slumdog Millionaire made million bucks at box office. There is a reason why i am saying this and i will explain it a bit later. Anyways, the little guy lives in a city called “Garibnagar” (City of poor) in Mumbai, India. Yesterday, May14th 2009, a terrible thing happened. Azharuddin Ismail lost his home as it was demolished and turned into pile of debris by the Indian municipal authorities. According to the authorities, his home, among 20 other homes were illegally built, so they had to demolish it anyhow. I was just reading this news at and a senior inspector of the authority named Rahim Sheikh, who is also in charge of the locality, told the CNN, that “The shanties were brought down as part of a municipal drive to clear encroachments on public land. Bulldozers leveled the slum built on a municipal garden”. So we now have a reason why this step was taken. I am not sure what to say here. It can be said that “Indian rules stand equal for everyone” whether poor man or celebrity which we all know is not true. We all know that Indian rules although laid strictly, but are flexible and corrupted in reality.

Anyways, what may bring tear to your eyes is when you see Azharuddin Ismail sitting between the debris and twisted metal, surrounded by filth on all sides and tears running down his cheeks. It’s little hard to believe specially for a buy who achieved such a success so very recently. According to Ismail, they got no notice for the demolition in advance and they weren’t even allowed anytime to remove their belongings from the house. It’s sad how things go around in India specially with the poor. Ismail family however were strong enough and said that they will return back and they do plan to rebuild the house. I would suggest that you do rebuild your house but take care of the encroachment laws this time around.

I managed to get hold of the video where in Ismail talks about how he feels on the same issue. He cried a lot and of course he expects little respects for his celebrity status which he was denied by the Mumbai authorities. Here is the video courtesy the Associated Press!


I did mentioned before about how his life never took a drastic turn. Ismail’s father is a bit cruel, so to speak. He was photographed beating his son after Ismail begged to rest his jet lagged body after reaching home from Oscars ceremonies in Los Angeles. His father has been trying repeatedly to fish out more money from Danny Boyle (Director of Slumdog Millionaire). It is believed that Ismail was paid $1000 USD (Rs. 50,000 INR approx.) during the filming of the movie. Danny was smart enough to put an amount near about $25,000 USD ( Rs. 12.5 Lacs INR approx.) in a trust which will be accessible by Ismail when he turns 18. Apart from that he pays $30 (Rs 1500) a week to 10 year old Ismail as allowance. Now imagine how this could change the life of a real slumdog kid. But thanks to his father, Ismail will only get money when he turns 18. So no drastic change as on now! 😉

Anyways, i heard Danny Boyle initially offered them a house out of slums worth $30,000 USD. I hope this is the right time for that commitment to come into action. We surely hope the slumdog kid strike some peace in real life too.

16 thoughts on “Slumdog Millionaire Kid Goes Homeless

  1. Yes it is kinda unfair…but then the whole celebrity lifestyle is unfair. Some people get craploads of cash just for doing nothing, or going on Big Brother, whilst others will work their butts off all their lives and not get any recognition.

  2. I don’t blame the Indian officials as they need to control how these shanty buildings are built and maintained. They can’t exactly let people build these houses wherever they want. Then again, they definitely should’ve given them notice and allowed them to remove their belongings. I guess they didn’t want to deal with any of them protesting the situation by refusing the leave the buildings.

    I am more shocked at how the creators of Slumdog Millionaire can rake in millions upon millions of dollars while allowing the actual stars of the movie to live in absolute poverty. I don’t know how they sleep at night. I think anyone who made millions on that movie should be giving a share to these unfortunate kids. $25,000 is a joke, especially considering he won’t get that money for another 8 years or so. I really doubt a child actor would get such poor compensation in a wealthier country. It is so wrong to exploit people like this.

  3. Sharat, there is always more than meets the eye in these developments. A slum is inevitably built on public land, with the blessings and protection of a local goon with political and police connections. The entire populace becomes a vote bank for politicians and the slums are provided with electricity, water connection etc, and very little of this is paid for officially. The people who pay for the utilities do not get adequate supply of them. Slums should not exist. Anything illegal is an insult to our society. If the slums did not exist, the society will adjust to higher cost labour and services and life will become better for the present slum dwellers, law enforcement agencies and most importantly, the tax payer, who ultimately pays for all this non sense. The most inspiring change was brought about in Singapore and Hongkong, where too slums proliferated, but a determined government, provided alternative accommodation and streamlined the entire system. It is possible to be achieved if only the tax payers demand that their quality of life is important as much as the slum dwellers’.

  4. CWD and ACC, you guys need to put up your names in the comment so that i can reply you back. In fact i do plan to delete or edit the comments of all people using title rich keywords in place of their names. I don’t think i will be responding to these comments anymore.

    Nicole, that really is a deep thought. I did mention earlier that slums are illegal and with the above act, the rules seems to be fair and equal for everyone. I do agree and completely understand the political agenda you talked about. It’s a shame that leaders tend to follow such practices thus proving to be bad examples and corrupting the laws from the word “go”.

    In all honesty, i never knew about the inspiring changes of HongKong and Singapore you talked about. But now reading more about i think it is possible to bring such a change in India, but the population seems to be a negative factor here and thus may take years. But someone needs to start. Hoping Mr. Manmohan Singh has something good to offer this time around!

  5. I’d like to start by saying that I loved the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.. but I cannot believe that the stars are being expoited the way they are – it is terrible! It is also extremely hard to believe that the stars of the show lost their homes 🙁

  6. Sarah, i just heard that a couple a days ago, the Maharashtra Urban Development Authority under which Mumbai city falls, provided well built homes to those kids. Taking down their home wasn’t wrong as it was illegal and everyday such things are done here. So one way or the other, those young stars will have a bright future.

    Nicole, sorry sweety. I am having some troubles with spondilytis these days, unfortunately. I am working less these days and whatever i do work is more on the sites that make me money! But i will try to be much active on my blog! 🙂

  7. Hi Sharat, This is truly a sad thing to happen to anyone. When I first heard this story a month or so ago I was thinking “Why doesn’t the company that made millions on this movie get him at least a house.” I am glad to hear that Danny Boyle offered to get him a house, I wonder will he act on what he promised? We shall see.

  8. Hello again Sharat, I just want to apologize for using my website name in the name field above. My name is Flint, good to meet you. And don’t worry I will use Flint from now on when I make a comment to your site. Take care.

  9. Umm…Sorry Nicole. I once again promise to be active on my blog and God willingly, i will be keeping my promise this time around!
    And unfortunately no, the spondylitis is still here!

  10. Yes Sharat, i also know, dharavi Mumbai kids life!! Hope for them that they will have a bright future.

  11. Roshan, i really do not know what “Dharavi” means. Is it some slum place in Mumbai?

    Shraddha, I think you said it well there. The real life and reel life are so much different. What can we say? Good reality check.

  12. Hey Who’s now the “DHARAVI”? Dharavi is real file in Mumbaikars . Both of kids very good work & acting in Slumdog Millionaire movie. Award is deserved for both of us……..

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