May 30, 2009

‘Slumdog’ child stars given new homes

Child actors Azharuddin Ismail Shaikh and Rubina Ali, known for their roles in Slumdog Millionaire, now have permanent homes, an Indian official says.

Ashok Chavan, chief minister for the Indian state of Maharashtra, said in a statement he will use his post's discretionary quota to allot homes in northwest Mumbai to the child actors and their families, Thaindia News reported Friday.

The chief minister's secretrariat said in the statement the nearly $8,500 cost of each of the homes will be paid by the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee.

The two child actors and their families reside in a slum in the western Mumbai neighborhood of Bandra. The dire conditions in India's slums were pictured in Slumdog, a popular movie from British director Danny Boyle.

Shaikh played the young version of Slumdog character Salim Malik, while Ali performed as the young version of the 2008 film's female lead character, Latika.

The Times of India said the homes allotted to the actors will remain the custody of the Mumbai Congress until the Slumdog stars turn 18.