Slumdog Millionaire filmmakers announce Major Donation to Improve Lives of Children in Mumbai Slums



    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - The team behind the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog
Millionaire is donating $900,000 CDN ((pnds stlg)500,000) to Plan, an
international children's development organisation, to improve the lives of
children in the Indian city of Mumbai's slum communities.
    Slumdog Millionaire producer Christian Colson hopes the money will give
thousands of youngsters an education and access to good healthcare. "We are
grateful to everyone who has supported this initiative and we look forward to
working with Plan to ensure that the money is put to the best possible use,"
commented Colson.
    The hit movie, which was filmed in Mumbai, shone a light on the plight of
some of the world's poorest children. Slumdog director Danny Boyle said:
"Having benefitted so much from the hospitality of the people of Mumbai it is
only right that some of the success of the movie be ploughed back into the
city in areas where it is needed most and where it can make a real difference
to some lives. Despite intimidating odds, extraordinary work is going on to
help people break the cycle of poverty through education. We're delighted that
this initiative will add to that ongoing work."
    The money will finance a five-year programme, funding projects in the
identified slums of central Mumbai focusing on education programmes, training
children and adults in good hygiene/sanitation techniques. Plan hopes to reach
2,000 families and 5,000 children.
    "One billion people live in slums, which lack even the basic necessities
like water and sanitation, putting children at risk of deadly yet preventable
diseases," said Dr. Tanjina Mirza, Vice President, International Programs for
Plan Canada. "This long-term commitment from the makers of Slumdog Millionaire
will improve the lives of thousands of children and their families."
    Slumdog star Anil Kapoor, who plays the villain game show host in the
film, donated his earnings from the film to Plan. Kapoor has been an
ambassador and celebrity advocate for children's rights for Plan India for the
past three years.
    Furthermore, in consultation with Plan, the filmmakers have appointed
trustees to oversee the separate and independent Jai Ho Trust, which aims to
ensure that Rubina Ali (who played the youngest Latika in the film) and
Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail (youngest Salim) receive the benefit of an
education, have somewhere decent to live and receive extensive social support
to help them deal with any media attention. The trust will also hold a sum of
money for the two children until they reach adulthood.
    Note to Editors: Dr. Tanjina Mirza is available for interview.





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For further information: Media Contact: Tiffany Bourré, Idea Workshop,
(416) 504-3977 x.28, (647) 298-3954, tiffany@ideaworkshop.ca

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