Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millioniare, is back in the city. On Thursday, Boyle is scheduled to meet the trustees of the Jai Ho Trust, which was set up by him and Christian Colson, producer of Slumdog Millionaire, to provide for the welfare of two of the youngest actors in the film, Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali. After that Boyle will host a children’s party at the J W Marriott, which Azharuddin, Rubina and Ayush Khedekar are expected to attend.
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Noshir Dadrawala, spokesperson for the Trust, says Rubina’s father, Raufiq Querishi, had recently written a letter to Boyle complaining about the lack of decent accommodation for his nine-year-old daughter. Their corrugated shanty was demolished by the Railway Police in May. And Rubina now stays with a relative in the same slum on the tracks, to the east of Bandra railway station.
“I’ve heard they may be demolishing the other shanties too. Rubina’s family knows we’re offering them leave and license in the event of any emergency but they are refusing that. They seem to prefer the publicity they are getting from staying in the slum and have turned down all the flats we have offered to purchase for them. They only want one in Bandra but flats in the area have gone up to Rs 35 lakh and we can only spend Rs 25 lakh. We suggested Santa Cruz but they have vetoed any area that’s not Bandra,” says Dadrawala, adding that this is the first time that the trustees will meet Boyle in person. He informs that he was overseas when Boyle was in Mumbai last May and have been communicating via phone and emails.
Rubina’s co-star Azharuddin, is now living in a one-bedroom flat in Vile Parle with his mother, Shameem, purchased for him by the Trust. The cash in the trust fund came from the Rs 56 crore production budget of Slumdog Millionaire.
Boyle will also meet director Anurag Kashyap whose Bombay Velvet he will be producing. The thriller, set around real events that happened in Mumbai in the ’60s, will star John Abraham and start next year.