No class, no cash: Truancy jeopardizes ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ kids’ trust funds
MUMBAI, INDIA — The slum kid stars of “ Slumdog Millionaire” want a lot of things in life — new houses, a car, trips to London and Paris — but they aren’t too interested in school.
Ten-year-old Rubina Ali has missed nearly 75 per cent of her classes and her co-star hasn’t done much better — truancy that filmmakers say will jeopardize their trust funds and monthly stipends if it continues.
Their parents blame the absences on deaths in the family or other misfortunes, including the demolition of Rubina’s shanty by city authorities earlier this year, and have promised to do better.
But the filmmakers say the children are being lured away by endorsement deals, television appearances and other opportunities to cash in on their celebrity — at the risk of losing the money set aside for them once they graduate.