“Slumdog” Kids Back To School, One Taken Ill, Father Demands More Cash
Huffington Post
March 1, 2009




In the week since "Slumdog Millionaire" won eight Oscars, the child actors have gone to Disneyland, arrived to a heroes' welcome in Mumbai, and tried to go back to their previous lives.

Two of the kids, Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali, have returned to their homes in the slums. They have also gone back to their English language school, the tuition of which is part of their film payment.

On Friday Ismail was photographed getting hit by his father and as of Sunday, had taken ill, vomiting and with a temperature of 103 degrees:

He has been prescribed antibiotics by doctors, who said he is suffering from fever and exhaustion, but his condition has continued to worsen.

Azhar's neighbours have also rallied round to build an 8ft by 5ft metal structure for him to sleep under out of the sun.

The families of the two child stars have said their children are not readjusting to life back in the slums after five days of glitz and glamour in Los Angeles.

Mother Shameem Ismail said: "It has all become too much for him. He is very ill and has not recovered from going to America and all the media interest since we got back."

His father is also saying he wants more money for his son's film role. In addition to school, the kids were paid for their work and have trust funds set up for when they turn 18.

Azharuddin's father Mohammed, who lives in a shack, has tuberculosis and earns less than £40 a month gathering wood, said it was 'not enough' and that film director Danny Boyle should hand all the money over immediately...

He said: 'My son has taken on the world and won. I am so proud of him but I want more money.

'They promised me a new house but it hasn't happened. I'm still in the slum.

'I want the money now, it is of no use later. Mr Boyle should take care of my son.'

Meanwhile, both Rubina and Azharuddin continue to wear their Oscar clothes and pine for life in America:

For Rubina, the highlight was her new pale blue dress, which she is still wearing. She says: "When we got to America, Uncle Danny (Boyle)) arranged for some clothes for us. I had never been given so many clothes. I picked out seven dresses and four pairs of shoes. I felt so special in my party dress that I never want to take it off. I felt like a princess walking down the red carpet."

Rubina also said:

"I don't want to sleep on the floor anymore. I want a proper bed and live where the air does not smell of poo. I have seen what it is like in America. Here, there is garbage everywhere, people get angry, swear and shout. I have realised how bad life is here. I just want to get out."