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Slumdog kids get rousing welcome on return

Six children who acted in the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire returned from Hollywood to Mumbai today to cheers from fans lined up at the city's airport.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2009 16:39 IST

Six children who acted in the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire returned from Hollywood to Mumbai on Thursday to cheers from fans lined up at the city's airport.

Hundreds of family members, friends and fans thronged the airport to greet the children, shouting Jai Ho, the theme song from the movie which won two Oscars for Indian music composer AR Rahman among its eight awards in all.

The children, three of whom are slum-dwellers, were welcomed in traditional Indian style with garlands by family members amid tight police security, and then were driven home in style in six Mercedes.

The children were due later to attend a party, Indian television stations reported.

"This is the proudest monent of our lives. I cannot believe that my daughter has become world famous," said Rafiq Asghar Ali Quereshi, father of nine-year-old Rubina Ali who acts in the movie.

Rubina played the younger version of the love interest of Jamal, the hero of the feel-good film about a Mumbai tea boy who rises from poverty and enters a TV quiz show to win millions and be united with the girl he adores.

"The entire family is in Mumbai," said Querishi, who lives in a Mumbai slum.

"I have never seen such enthusiasm -- even when Bollywood stars arrive, the crowds are calmer," Suresh Bhaghat, an airport cleaner said.

The rags-to-riches drama, directed by British film-maker Danny Boyle, won eight Oscars last Sunday, including the coveted award for best picture.

The film was based on the book Q and A by Indian author Vikas Swarup.

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