May 14, 2009

‘Slumdog’ star says he is homeless

One of the child stars of the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire said Mumbai authorities have demolished the home he shared with his family.

The BBC said Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail and his parents had been living in a makeshift shelter comprised of plastic sheets and bamboo sticks in one of the Indian city's slums. However, they were forced out by authorities who said they and others were squatting on government-owned property intended to be a public garden. The tents and shacks were subsequently torn down.

We are homeless, we have nowhere to go, the BBC quoted Azharuddin as saying after the demolition.

Our house has been broken down by officials. We have not been given any alternate accommodation. Earlier the authorities had said they would give us a house. But I don't think that will happen any more, Azharuddin's mother Shamim Ismail told the BBC.

Local housing officials had previously promised new homes to the families of Azharuddin and his young co-star Rubina Ali, but the relocation plan reportedly is still awaiting approval from higher authorities.