Bangalore slum dwellers celebrate the Oscar sweep of “Slumdog…”

February 23rd, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionaireBangalore, Feb 23 (IANS) They are ecstatic, celebrating every moment of it. The slum dwellers of India’s IT hub are short of words to express their joy at the huge success of “Slumdog Millionaire” at the Oscars.
They marked the movie’s haul of eight Oscar trophies by distributing sweets among themselves in most of the 800 slums sheltering over 600,000 of the city’s population of around eight million.

Septugenarian Ananad Babu, who has lived all his life in the Ambedkar slum, was told by his grandson that some film on a slum dweller’s life has won big awards and sweets were being distributed.

“I am bed-ridden for several years now. There was lot of noise outside and my grandson came with sweets and said that a film on slum boy’s life has got big award in America,” said Babu, who was a daily wager earner.

“I am glad that a film based on the Mumbai slums has won eight important awards. It is a kind of victory for all slum dwellers of India, including Bangalore, as they struggle every day to live and thrive,” said Isaac Arul Selva, a slum dweller in L.R. Nagar.

Selva, 38, is the editor of Slum Jagatthu (Slum World), India’s first magazine that focuses only on the issues related to urban poor, which he and a group of other slum dwellers founded.

“I watched the entire award function live on television. I was glad to see so many Indians and Indian subjects shining at the Oscar awards. This shows the strength of India and Indians in various fields,” Selva told IANS.

“I am happy for the film and wish that poor condition of slum areas of Bangalore improve soon,” said Babu.

Most of the film-buffs of the city also made it a point to catch live the Oscar action.

It was a special moment for the A.R. Rahman Fan Club in upscale Koramangala.

“I have no words of happiness. It was so nice to see ‘Slumdog’ coming out as a major winner at the Oscars. I am specially thrilled for Rahman, whom I have always admired and enjoyed his music a lot,” said A.S. Hari, a Bangalore based IT professional and a member of the fan club.

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