Slumdog Millionaire actor Rubina Ali’s family refuses to move out of its tenement at Garib Nagar slum in Bandra (East) though it has been offered a flat by the Mumbai Congress and Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
Some shanties in the slum where Rubina lives were demolished by civic and railway authorities on Wednesday.
“We were given a [MHADA] flat in Malad but we do not want to move there because Rubina’s school is in Bandra,” said Rafiq Qureishi, Rubina’s father. “We want a house in Dharavi.”
The Mumbai Congress had paid MHADA Rs 4.14 lakh for flats for Rubina and her co-actor Azharuddin in May after their shanties were first demolished. “We had also given her family a letter of allotment but haven’t heard from them since,” Amarjit Singh Manhas, chairman, Mumbai MHADA board.
The family, meanwhile, credits Rubina’s star status and media attention for saving the shanties from being demolished completely.
“They [the demolition crew] had not marked the line of tenements for demolition,” Mohan Premchand Maan (27), a resident said. “With the media talking to Rubina, this lack of preparation would have been official.”
The demolition drive began at around 10 am and was in full swing when media arrived around 2 pm. Residents said that seeing the media, the crew served a demolition notice and left, ‘in a hurry’.
“I am used to them,” Rubina said. “This has happened before and I was explaining that (to the media), but soon the crew went away.”
“When we protested they (the crew) brushed us away,” Qureishi said. “Thanks to Rubina, the demolition stopped and we have some respite. We have rebuilt some of the tenements.”
The film’s director Danny Boyle had also talked to the Jai Ho Trust, set up for the child actors’ welfare, for a home for Rubina.
(With inputs from Naresh Kamath)