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Author Topic: Rubina Ali's family brawl after father denies offering Slumdog actress for sale  (Read 2550 times)
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Blessedgrandma
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« on: Apr 19, 2009 07:04 PM »


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6126458.ece

From Times OnlineApril 19, 2009

Rubina Ali's family brawl after father denies offering Slumdog actress for sale
(Gautam Singh/AP)
Rubina Ali: alleged to have been offered for sale
Rhys Blakely, Mumbai
There were ugly scenes outside the home of one of the child stars of Slumdog Millionaire today when Rubina Ali's mother demanded that the young actress be removed from the care of her father.

Rafiq Asghar Ali Qureshi is alleged to have offered the nine-year-old for sale for £200,000 in an illegal adoption deal.

"We are considering Rubina's future," he is claimed to have told an undercover newspaper reporter from the News of the World, who was posing as an interested buyer from the Middle East.

"We've got nothing out of this film. They haven't looked after us. They gave some money at the start but they gave nothing afterwards. They gave us around 150,000 rupees (£2,000).

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"They've been talking about giving us a house, but all they do is talk."

Mr Qureshi and his brother-in-law Rajan More allegedly initially asked for £50,000 for Rubina – a sum that was hiked to £200,000 at a later meeting.

Mr Qureshi’s brother Mohiuddin was quoted as saying: "The child is special now. This is not an ordinary child. This is an Oscar child."

Slumdog Millionaire, the story of how a slumdweller wins the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, has taken £185 million at box offices worldwide. It was made on a budget of just £15 million.

Six months after the film opened to rave reviews in the United States, Rubina, who played the youngest incarnation of Latika, the lead female character, still lives in Garib Nagar - a small, filthy slum next to a railway track in Mumbai.

Inside, her family's tiny one-room home is painted bubblegum pink and is scrupulously clean. Directly outside, however, there is an oozing open sewer. Scattered mounds of smouldering rubbish cloud the air with acrid smoke.

Last week The Times met Mr Qureshi just after his daughter had returned from her school – a place which was found for her by the makers of Slumdog Millionaire.

He said that he was disappointed to still be living in the slum but that he expected to be moved to a new home by the local council after India’s general elections are over, in a month’s time. A Mumbai politician promised the family a proper home "for bringing glory to India" amid the hype that followed the Oscar ceremony in February.


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Mr Qureshi said he did not know whether the filmmakers had yet found him a flat – something that they had pledged to do.

Nevertheless, he told The Times that he was pleased with Slumdog’s success. "Our daughter has made all of India proud,” he said. Asked whether Rubina was paid fairly, he appeared less sure. “At the time I thought so. Now that we see it has done so well, I am not sure.”

Rubina has continued to work, appearing in adverts and at public events. Her father claimed last week that she recently earned more for a short appearance in a drinks commercial with Nicole Kidman than she did for Slumdog. "If she earns, maybe then we can afford a proper home," he said.

He is reported to have told the News of the World that selling his daughter could provide a better life for him and his family.

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Mr Qureshi said: "What they showed in the film is exactly how life is here. The Government doesn't help us. We get nothing.

"We live in one room. Seven of us sleep on the floor. I earn £2 to £3 a day. I have to consider what is best for me, my family and for Rubina's future."

The illegal trafficking of girls from India to the Middle East, where they are taken to work as sex slaves and domestic servants, is considered a serious problem.

Mr Qureshi told The Times today that he denied the allegations, but would not comment further. His second wife, Munni, who is Rubina’s stepmother, said: “A foreign woman phoned us and offered us money. We turned her down.”

But this afternoon the child actress's biological mother, Khursheed, arrived and demanded that Rubina be removed from the care of Mr Qureshi. Khursheed and the stepmother ended up in a brawl, one woman grabbing the other’s throat and each trading punches.

Christian Colson, Slumdog’s British director, admits that that he and Danny Boyle, the film’s Oscar-winning director, were wrong-footed by the scale of interest in its child actors.

He insists, however, that the children were paid fairly and that from the moment the pair were cast, in October 2007, moves were made to safeguard their future welfare in a way that would not place their safety at risk.

The children were found places in an NGO-run school – the first they had ever attended – close to their homes that specialises in educating disadvantaged youngsters. If they remain in school until they are 18, they will receive a “significant lump sum”. There is also a scheme whereby small amounts of cash can be accessed quickly by the families in case of emergency.

However, Mr Colson has admitted that the film-makers’ perception of what was in the children’s best interests and the wishes of their parents – who have clamoured for cash up front – have diverged sharply. “We thought that the parents would be incentivised by long-term benefits to their children. We were wrong,” he told The Times earlier this year.

The plot of Slumdog may turn on the premise of a poor child receiving a cash windfall of unimaginable proportions, but Mr Colson was adamant that reality would not emulate art. “From the outset it was decided we would not shower the kids with cash or have a transformative impact on their lives,” he said. “That would have been a much easier thing to do.”


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blackrose
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 19, 2009 09:48 PM »

salaam

The movie won the oscars, the kid should not have to be living in that one bedroom house with so many people. The father is obviously desparate. I mean even if the kid didnt win Oscars when people sooooooo rich discover them they should help them out. 

It really makes me wonder why they picked kids off the slums, I mean they could have hired a proffesional child actor also.
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 21, 2009 05:13 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_india_slumdog

India probes dispute over 'Slumdog' child star

MUMBAI, India – Indian police are investigating claims and counterclaims by the parents of a child star in "Slumdog Millionaire" after a British tabloid alleged the father tried to sell the 9-year-old girl to an undercover reporter.

The accusations further complicated the lives of the families of the slum-dwelling child stars, who have come under intense scrutiny since the movie skyrocketed to Oscar-winning fame and grossed more than $300 million worldwide.

Khurshid Begum, the estranged mother of "Slumdog Millionaire" star Rubina Ali, filed a complaint with Mumbai police on Sunday after News of the World reported that the father planned to put her up for adoption. The British newspaper said the deal was allegedly offered to one of its reporters posing as a sheik from the Mideast.

The newspaper — owned by News International Ltd., the main British subsidiary of News Corp., which also owns "Slumdog" distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures — said the father was demanding millions of rupees, worth the equivalent of $400,000.

"They should be punished," Begum said after getting into a physical confrontation with Rubina's stepmother. "No father should dare sell his daughter."

Police took the father, Rafiq Qureshi, and Rubina from their home in a Mumbai slum to a police station where he was briefly questioned.

Speaking to reporters outside the police station Sunday, Qureshi denied the report, saying he had been lured to a fancy Mumbai hotel by someone claiming they were moved by Rubina's story and wanted to help her.

"We had gone there to meet them in goodwill," he said. "But they have made false allegations about me and tried to frame me."

He said he was promised cash and "were talking of giving more too" if he gave up his daughter.

"But I refused," he said.

Qureshi said he told police he believed it could be a plot to regain custody by his ex-wife, who left several years ago, only to return and try to play a role in Rubina's life after the film's success.

"My children are with me, and I could give my life for them," Qureshi said. "I will never sell them to anybody, no matter how much money they offer me."

Police said they were investigating.

"There are claims and counterclaims made by the mothers and the father," police officer Nishar Tamboli told reporters. "We are probing the matter."

The newspaper quoted Qureshi as saying that Hollywood was to blame for forcing him to give her up for adoption.

"We've got nothing out of this film," Rafiq Qureshi was quoted as saying. "I have to consider what's best for me, my family and Rubina's future."

The children in "Slumdog Millionaire" were chosen with the local help of casting director Loveleen Tandan. To give the film a realistic view of the Mumbai slums, she and director Danny Boyle decided only weeks before shooting began to cast local kids who were not professional actors.

Rubina and young co-star Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail were discovered on the Mumbai streets by the filmmakers. The film's adult stars, Dev Patel and Freida Pinto, shot to international stardom, becoming red-carpet regulars during Hollywood's awards season.

Patel, whose only previous credit was the British teen drama "Skins," since landed a role in the fantasy adventure "The Last Airbender" from director M. Night Shyamalan. A model, Pinto made her movie debut with "Slumdog" and has scored roles in the next films from Woody Allen and Julian Schnabel ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly").

The younger stars got a taste of Hollywood glamor, too, attending the Academy Awards and joining the filmmakers on stage as they accepted the best-picture Oscar for "Slumdog."

Following the success of the rags-to-riches tale, some criticized the filmmakers for failing to share the wealth with Mumbai's millions of slum dwellers. Others accused them of exploiting two of the child stars, Rubina and Azharuddin, 10, who grew up in a wretched Mumbai slum.

The filmmakers' initial efforts to help their families were thwarted by media attention, the changing demands of relatives and the film's runaway success. Sudden fame and relative fortune also complicated relations between the actors and their neighbors.

The filmmakers feared that if they gave the families a lump sum, the money would be squandered or extorted. Instead, they set up a trust fund for the two children that was supposed to provide them with a good education, adequate housing and social support.

Last week they also announced a donation of $747,500 to a charity devoted to improving the lives of street children in Mumbai. Fox Searchlight didn't immediately return telephone calls Monday for comment on the allegations against Rubina's father.

___

AP writers David Germain in Los Angeles and Jake Coyle in New York contributed to this story.
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 22, 2009 03:47 AM »

Quote
he filmmakers feared that if they gave the families a lump sum, the money would be squandered or extorted. Instead, they set up a trust fund for the two children that was supposed to provide them with a good education, adequate housing and social support.

who is saying to give them a lump of money but atleast buy them a house. Thats a lot of people to stay in one bedroom

when you owe someone money its required on you to give it immediately somehow..its unfair to say that the kids getit if and when they go to college. nobody knows how long they will live and what the circumstances will be later. I would be scared tell someone I will paythem back later.. Its like the hadith that say 'give the laborer his due before he dries his sweat'  Those kids had to go through alot to do that kind of work.  and now at home they are being pressured too. Allahu alim
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