Slumdog Millionaire tells the truth, does not glamourise poverty: NGOs

January 23rd, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) Slumdog Millionaire, which has won 10 Oscar nominations and is a story about a slum kid in Mumbai hitting the jackpot, portrays the harsh realities plaguing India and does not glamourise poverty like some people think, say NGOs. Shirin Vakil Miller, the India director of the NGO Save the Children, which works for slum children said the movie is a reflection of the ground realities challenging millions of Indian children each day.

“In cities across India, children work in terrible conditions for a pittance, are subject to violence and abuse or captured by organised crime rackets who make them beg for money on the streets.

“It is indeed good that a movie has been made that does not glamorise poverty. We hope that with Slumdog Millionaire’s nominations, the world will acknowledge the cold reality of 120 million children living in poverty in India and work with us to tackle the injustice,” Miller said.

Akshita Sharma, a child rights activist, similarly said that it is good that a movie has been made portraying one of India’s most serious issues - poverty and child abuse - which will hopefully sensitise people in coming out and helping in whatever way they can.

“One in four children is born into poverty in India. If a movie is being made which tells the truth and is getting appreciated for it, what’s wrong in it? At least it is spreading awareness. It is wrong to blame the film maker of portraying India in a poor light, because that’s what the truth is,” Sharma said.

Based on Vikas Swarup’s novel “Q&A”, Slumdog Millionaire has been directed by British director Danny Boyle and has won accolades from all quarters, including the Golden Globe for the bestcomposer to A.R. Rahman.

Miller added: “A telling story is the fact that 242,000 children in Delhi do not go to school. This reality is repeated across towns and cities in India”.

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